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R v G : R v J

The Court of Appeal in R v K (2008) EWCA Crim 185, (2008) QB 827 had erred in its interpretation of the reasonable excuse defence under the Terrorism Act 2000 s.58(3). The language of s.57(2) and s.58(3) was completely different: it was impossible to interpret the sections as if they said substantially the same thing.

10 March 2009

The Crown appealed against decisions of the Court of Appeal in relation to the respondents (G and J). G, who was mentally ill and in prison, had been charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 s.58 for collecting information likely to be useful to a terrorist. He said that he did it to antagonise the prison staff, who he believed were provoking him. The Court of Appeal, following the decision in R v K (2008) EWCA Crim 185, (2008) QB 827, held that that was a reasonable excuse within s.58(3). In R. v K it was held that a reasonable excuse was simply an explanation that the information was possessed for a purpose other than to assist in the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism. In J's case, the judge and the Court of Appeal concluded that, where a defendant claimed that he had a reasonable excuse for possessing the relevant information, it was necessary for the Crown to prove that the possession was for a terrorist purpose. The Court of Appeal had certified points of law of gene...

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