R (El-Kurd) v Winchester Crown Court  EWHC 1853 (Admin),  JPLO (Sept)
Criminal law – seizure of materials – discretionary authorisation of the retention of unlawfully seized materials
15 July 2011
Laws LJ; Stadlen J
Section 59(6) of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 provides the court with a discretionary power to authorise the retention of materials that have been seized unlawfully.
On appeal from:
Winchester Crown Court
(1) Mr El-Kurd (K) applied for judicial review of a decision of Winchester Crown Court to authorise the retention of materials that had been seized by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). Due to a technical defect in the template of the warrant used by SOCA, the seizure had been unlawful and was admitted to be so. However, SOCA applied to the court under section 59(6) of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (the Act) to authorise the retention of the materials. K argued that subsections 59(5) – 59(7) do not provide a freestanding jurisdiction to legitimise the unlawful seizure of property.
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