Pump Court

Sam Thomas, live streamed from the Court of Appeal (Civil Division), arguing on the correct legal test of contempt of court

Cases 19 Jan 23

Sam Thomas, instructed by Richard Marshall and Oliver Cooke at Pennington Manches Cooper, acted on behalf of two Respondent Police Officers, to argue on whether “reckless falsity” was sufficient for an application for contempt of court.

The Appellants, husband and wife, have appealed the decision of Mr Justice Kerr, to refuse their application to have the Respondent Police Officers for Essex police committed to prison for contempt of Court. The background relates to the execution of a warrant, based on suspected money laundering, to search the Appellants’ home and seize goods. The warrant was obtained on evidence given by the Respondents. Ultimately no further action was taken.

In the present proceedings the Appellants allege that the Respondents knowingly misled the Court when the warrant was obtained. Sam Thomas, acting for the Respondents in the High Court, successfully opposed the application. In refusing the application, Kerr J noted that the warrant should not have been applied for or granted but that it did not follow that there was a strong prima facie case that contempt was committed. The Appellant’s appeal that decision.

The appeal on the correct legal test to be applied in contempt of court proceedings was before Lord Justice David Bean; Lady Justice Nicola Davies; Lady Justice Kathryn Thirlwall, and was recorded on the Court of Appeal Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY8PXT9_eoM.

Judgment has been reserved.

Cases | 19 Jan 23

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