Witnesses to Murder and Privilege Against Self-Incrimination

Ben Douglas-Jones successfully represented the Director of Public Prosecutions in R (DPP) v. Leicester Magistrates' Court [2015] EWHC 1295 (Admin), a judicial review of a refusal of a District Judge (Magistrates' Court) to allow a witness to a murder to be deposed on the ground that to do so would infringe her privilege against self-incrimination.

In granting the application for judicial review, Bean LJ and Hickinbottom J held that not only was the witness protected by an indication given by the Crown that she would not be prosecuted, evidence given by a witness under compulsion after claiming the privilege against self-incrimination is inadmissible against them, reaffirming a line of authority dating back to 1847.