Stephen Lawrence Murder – David Norris refused leave to appeal

On Friday 10th May, David Norris (who had been convicted last year of murdering Stephen Lawrence) was refused permission by the Court of Appeal to appeal against the conviction.

His co-defendant , Gary Dobson, who was also convicted, had previously abandoned his application to appeal (somewhat surprisingly).

An overview of how the Court of Appeal will deal with application to appeal a conviction or sentence can be found here.

The fact that the Court of Appeal refused permission was not a surprise to anyone. We do not have a transcript of the ruling of the Court, but when it is published, we will look at it again.

The facts of the case are very well known. From a legal point of view it is also very interesting, covering some important (and controversial) points including:

  • double jeopardy,
  • joint enterprise,
  • the integrity of scientific evidence,
  • how to ensure a fair trial with intense media coverage,
  • bad character evidence.

 

A couple of bits of further reading:

 

 

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About Dan Bunting

I'm a lawyer who works for myself. Legal geek, maths freak, general dullard and jack of all trades. Here’s a few views on law and occasional musings on life. Usual caveats about not relying on anything I say etc applies.

2 thoughts on “Stephen Lawrence Murder – David Norris refused leave to appeal

  1. Andrew

    It’s on BAILII now.
    We have paid a high price to get these two scumbags banged up. The law against double jeopardy – a protection against malpractice and sloppy policing – has been abandoned, and let’s not pretend that the breach won’t get wider. In the last session an MP presented a Bill to allow the prosecution a right of appeal in all cases.

    Then there is the law of joint enterprise, which the Michael Mansfields of this world would generally regard as a tool of prosecutorial oppression, and would be right.

    And then there is the Footscray surveillance. Mr Dobson and another man – never accused of anything – were in their home with their guest, Mr Norris. And they were recorded making racist conversation, which by a specific provision of the Public Order Act is not an offence in the private home, and no more it should be. Some of the material was leaked to the media – an outrage – and it was used as evidence. It should have been suppressed as illegally obtained. The police using surveillance in the home should have led to questions in Parliament, the Commissioner of the day explaining himself to the Home Affairs Committee, and officers (probably) resigning before they could be dealt with.

    Just think of this. If we had Orwell’s telescreens – and if the people watching were efficient, incorruptible, and vigilant, as they seem to be in 1984 – there would probably be less domestic violence and rape, and there would certainly be fewer he-said, she-said trials. But would we like the idea?

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Spare us from radical judges? | Dan Bunting - A Life in the Bus Lane

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