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R v Jogee (Ameen Hassan) 2016 | Criminal Law

R v Jogee (2016) UKSC 8, also known as the Jogee case, was a landmark decision by the UK Supreme Court in 2016 that clarified the law on joint enterprise. The case involved the doctrine of joint enterprise, which allowed individuals to be held criminally liable for the acts of others if they participated in a criminal enterprise, even if they did not directly commit the offence.

The central issue in the case was the interpretation and application of joint enterprise liability, which had been the subject of significant controversy and criticism. The key question before the court was whether the doctrine had been incorrectly applied in previous cases, leading to potential wrongful convictions.

Ameen Jogee was convicted of murder under the doctrine of joint enterprise. He had been present during a fatal stabbing but had not directly committed the act. The prosecution argued that he was jointly responsible for the murder because he was part of a group that had planned the attack. The Supreme Court, in its judgment, reinterpreted the law on joint enterprise and made the following key findings:

Overturning the oblique intention: The court overturned the concept of oblique intention in the context of joint enterprise. Previously, under joint enterprise, the foresight of the possibility of an accomplice committing a crime (even if unintended) was considered sufficient for establishing liability. The court held that foresight alone should not be equated with intent.

Requirement of foresight plus intention or encouragement: The court clarified that mere presence or association with the perpetrator was not enough to establish joint enterprise liability. Instead, there must be evidence of active encouragement, assistance, or participation by the defendant in the commission of the offence. The court emphasised that a person's participation must demonstrate a clear intention to assist or encourage the criminal act.

Focus on individual culpability: The court stressed the importance of individual culpability and that each defendant's role and level of participation must be assessed independently. The court acknowledged that joint enterprise had been misapplied in previous cases, leading to potential injustice and wrongful convictions.

As a result of the Jogee decision, the law on joint enterprise in England and Wales was significantly clarified and reformed. The ruling sought to address concerns about potential unfairness and to ensure that defendants are held accountable for their own actions and intentions, rather than being automatically liable for the actions of others with whom they may have associated.

You can learn more about this topic with our Criminal Law notes.

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