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Joint Enterprise: Judges Got It Wrong - Help Us Fight For Justice
On 18th February 2016 The Supreme Court ruled that the common law doctrine of JOINT ENTERPRISE had ‘taken a wrong turn’ in 1984.
Whilst acknowledging that the general principle of joint enterprise was justified, The Supreme Court ruled that the application of the law had been misinterpreted by the judiciary for 30 years, leading to thousands of possibly wrongful convictions. It is this misinterpretation of the law that has been corrected, not the substantive law itself. It has always been accepted when someone is murdered it is not just the person who delivered the fatal blow that is guilty. Society has always held the view that those who assist and encourage that murder should also be convicted and punished accordingly. However over the last 30 years, those who do not assist or encourage the murder, but instead merely foresaw the possibility that someone could be killed, have also been convicted and sentenced alongside the killer for murder.
That is the issue The Supreme Court remedied by reinstating the law as it was 30 years ago and holding that a person cannot be convicted of murder unless they intentionally assisted or encouraged that murder.
JENGbA say that it must be acknowledged that those who have been convicted of murder, when the current application of the law states that they should have been convicted of a lesser offence, then obviously miscarriages of justice have occurred and the courts should be keen to correct it. But The Supreme Court has made clear that the decision is not automatically retrospective and there are thousands of cases which will not be affected as they have exhausted the appeal system.
The Supreme Court ruling said in paragraph 100 of the judgement,
“Where a conviction has been arrived at by faithfully applying the law as it stood at the time, it can be set aside only by seeking exceptional leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal out of time. That court has power to grant such leave, and may do so if substantial injustice be demonstrated, but it will not do so simply because the law applied has now been declared to have been mistaken.”
However JENGbA will not stop fighting. We will not leave the potentially innocent men, women and children to languish in prison because a court 30 years ago took a ‘wrong turn’. If we are all truly innocent until proven guilty, but what was once ‘guilt’ has been wrong all along, then we cannot sit quietly and let the injustice pass us by.
It may be inconvenient for the court of appeal to have to clean up the mess left by previous courts, but if injustice has been caused then obviously this must be corrected and without delay.
Why is this important?
JENGbA (Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association) is a grass roots campaign who were instrumental in helping The Supreme Court reach this land mark decision. This was a legal victory and a vindication for all those who have campaigned tirelessly against this error, of which we have felt so much pain but now feel so much hope.
With this in mind we the undersigned now feel that the issue merits the full attention and the support of Parliament and request a full public inquiry that can review cases swiftly and rectify the mistakes. Without this 'Hillsborough' type inquiry then a thirty two year mistake that has led to the continued incarceration of men, women and children will continue to be a stain on the British justice system.
Please sign and help us fight for an inquiry into all of the cases, so the truly guilty can be captured and the innocent will walk free.