An interlocutory appeal

An interlocutory appeal is basically where a judge over rules a trial that the judge had made before the actual trial in which the judge concludes the trial. In many cases judges reject a interlocutory appeal due to the fact that the appeal requires the defendants to wait until the whole trial has been concluded by the judge as it allows the defendants to arise any decisions made by the judge. This also means that the judges undertaking analysis for the conclusion of the trial has to take into consideration certain parts of the trial so that both parties have been given a fair chance. In any circumstance if the judge is in favour of one party than the other and prohibiting the wait for the conclusion, would mean that defendants have a right not for the trial to take place at all.

In simple terms the literal rule is when courts interpret legislation. The literal rule is taken into consideration by courts to follow traditional views of the courts. In which courts apply the law created by parliament and interpret the law to an understandable standard that people may understand. The simple meaning of the literal rule is that courts basically look at the words of the legislation and apply them as they are written in which ordinary style of wording has to be used unless the statute itself defines its terms. The judge considers what the legislations say rather than what they may mean. Usually when deciding the literal meaning of a specific legislation a judge would have most likely interpret the meaning on his own interpretation meaning in which the judge would argue that it is well known that other people would know what the judge meant from the interpretation.

The advantages of the literal rule are that it allows the judge to be restricted from his role so that the literal meaning of a particular legislation is looked upon its original words. This rule highlights that judges are not allowed to use their own opinions when establishing this rule. The literal rule in terms of its purpose recognises parliaments as a supreme law maker rather than defining the legislation by a judge.

However there are problems with the literal rule also as defined in the case of Fisher v Bell [1961] 1 QB 394. This case involved a defendant who had a flick knife at the inside of his shop window with the price tag on it. According to statues this was illegal and is known as a criminal offence to do so. The courts had quashed this conviction due to the fact that displaying a flick knife at the window is not an ‘offer’ but in fact is a ‘invitation to treat’. The courts applied the literal rule from statutory interpretation.

An example of a literal rule in the case of R v T; R v B; R v C; R v H [2009] EWCA Crim 1035 is that Lord Justice Goldring decided that under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s44 for the new trial to be conducted without a jury. The appeal for this was allowed under statutory interpretation indicating to do so. The legislation under sections s44, s44(4), s44(5) were fulfilled by the literal rule in the context of statutory interpretation by the judge, in which a real present danger and evidence against the jury would have to be pointed out before having a juryless trial. However the judge outlined in s44 (5) that the likelihood of jury tampering would mean that an alone judge would be necessary. The judges use the literal as a analysing tool to fall back on to the law in order to make sense of legislation and the actual meaning of the legislation. As a result it would be up to the judge to be able to interpret and define the legislation to a standard that everyone would agree upon in which the legislation would make simple sense to everyone. As a result in this case the judge, Lord Justice Goldring had to decide whether a new trial could be concluded under sections s44, s44(4), s44(5) in which the judge has to interpret the legislation so that the judge is entitled to have a trial without a jury. This is basically a way how judges interpret the legislations from their own understanding of what the legislation is trying to say. The case of R. v Mackle (Benedict) [2007] NICA 37, [2008] N.I. 183 was applied. Overall in this case the decision of having a trial without a jury would have been very expensive in which the costs could have been £1.5 million and also used up time of 32 police officers. As a result in an appropriate case the court is entitled to seek assistance from special counsel, even if a judge had an s44 application to be the trial judge if he ordered a juryless trial. This is basically meant that instead of having juryless trial assistance from a special counsel can be advised instead. The case of R. v Southwark Crown Court Ex p. Customs and Excise Commissioners [1993] 1 W.L.R. 764 DC has been considered.

The main purpose of this approach is that when creating a law, Parliament use purposive approach context from statutory interpretation to be able to acknowledge what Parliament actually mean from a particular legislation and what it the legislation may restrict people from doing. This particular approach is used by most continental European countries so that they can interpret their own legislation. This approach was also used by the European Court of Justice in interpreting the EU law. The purposive approach is basically acts a bit like a restriction for people on doing certain things in life e.g. not being able to drink till over the age of 18 years etc.

An advantage of the purposive approach can be that even though the actual meaning of legislation has to be acted upon as what the legislation say and how it is written. The purposive approach enables a legislation to define what parliament actually meant from a specific legislation. Another advantage of the purposive approach may be that it allows judges to act upon specific legislations in a deeper approach to analyse legislation to an extent to find its actual purpose of its existence. The interpretation may be defined on different views depending on the judge and how the judge sees an ac actual purpose of legislation.

Reflecting back on the case of R v T; R v B; R v C; R v H [2009] EWCA Crim 1035 it shows that the purposive approach was used similarly to the literal rule. However the purposive approach is used by the judge in this case to be able to analyse the sections from which the judge would enable to have a jury free trial. Under s44(5) the judge applied the purposive approach from statutory interpretation as from that he concluded that under s44(5) he is enable to have a jury free trial as the sections interpretation allows it to do so. s44 (5) states that the likelihood of jury tampering would mean that an alone judge would be necessary. Therefore by applying the purposive approach to this particular section would mean that Parliament intended to make this legislation so that members of the jury are forbidden to jury tampering. As a result the judge interprets this legislation to the extent that it is fairly recognisable that the decision of the judge will be reflecting to the legislation meaning and the actual purpose of the legislation.

The importance of policy in judicial decision making theoretically is generally seemed to have acknowledgement based on the actual function of a specific legislation. According to Glendon A the public interest in judicial decision making is no longer a suggestion that courts interpret but an administrative legislation that frequently engages in policy making. [1] 

The importance of policy in judicial decision making that may have affected this case is the public policy. The public policy of this case was bought up to spend up to £1.5 million if the trial lasts for six months. It would require not less than 32 Metropolitan Police Officers to be detached from their normal duties for six months to participate in the whole process of the re-trial without a jury. According to the legislative structure of the trial, there is a right for the defendant to have a trial along with the jury. However these circumstances can be disallowed if the right is amended or circumscribed by express of the legislation of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. As a result sections s44, s44(4), s44(5) all in simple terms liberate that there the judge can allow to sit a trial without the presence of a jury only if there is a high level of risk of jury tampering. As there is a high risk of jury tampering to be made again, the public policy in judicial decision making is reluctant to make a fair decision so that an incident of jury tampering would not occur again in the case trial. Therefore public views are also taken into consideration in which an alone trial by a judge is going to be very expensive and use up time of 32 police officers. The judge outlines two types of packages in which one was more intensive than the other. The more intensive packages involved The more intensive option would involve a cost of about £6 million if the trial lasts, as expected, for six months. It will also require not less than 82 Metropolitan Police Officers to be detached from their normal duties for six months to participate in the exercise. The less intensive option was used.

However the public policy in this case also involved the jurors to be kept anonymous rather than calling them by names. The judge allocated them as numbers for their safety from the public. The judge also made the jurors sit in a courtroom where people in the public gallery cannot see them. The purposive approach here indicates that there was a high demand in publicity for this trial and public concerns were relevant in terms of riots etc.

Jurors are normal everyday people who have very little expertise on law but make a judgement depending on if jurors see a convicted person’s action to be unlawful. In this case as well as the wrong doings of a defendant the jury too had committed a criminal offence by tampering. As by contexts of statutory interpretation I find that the decision of having a jury free trial was necessary, regardless of the cost of the whole process. This decision was indeed to be perfect as it outlines the correct way and use of a court, to be fair. Juryless trial was a debatable decision by the judge in this case as conditions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 had to be certified.

Overall in my opinion I agree with the decision of the court of appeal. The reason for this is because the jurors had committed a criminal offence in which the convicted juror for jury tampering was a not reliable enough for their role in the courts. However it is arguable that it may seem unfair for the defendant by not having a trial with a jury. This is again debatable but under legislation the trial without a jury was desperately needed, due to the fact that a trial with a jury would have been biased anyway. As a result if the jury had been biased themselves then this would indicate that the decision making of the jury would also be biased. Therefore the jury would be in favour of the defendant rather than the moral views and rights of the court procedures. Even though there was evidence of jury tampering which wasn’t presented for whatever reason. This maybe is disadvantage for the jurors in which they couldn’t defend themselves against the accusations.