The Supreme Court has today ruled that “foresight” alone cannot be treated sufficiently probative for a conviction of murder, adding that the law has been wrongly interpreted for thirty years. This move potentially paves the way for hundreds of appeals for past convictions based on the law of joint enterprise.
The concept of joint enterprise is frequently employed in cases relating to gang violence, where defendants have been convicted who “could have foreseen” that another person they were with intended to commit a violent act.
It is controversial because for conviction, it is not necessary to prove that a member of a gang or group intended to kill, but that there was “foresight” in the act; this means that the prosecution need only show that a defendant foresaw the person they were with “might” kill or inflict serious harm in order to secure a conviction.
Woodfines’ Crime & Regulatory team, based in Milton Keynes and Cambridge, are experienced in handling with all manner of cases including murder, manslaughter, fraud, terrorism, drugs, firearms, explosives, and sexual offences. Our team will continue to monitor developments arising from this ruling.