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Miranda v Home Secretary – uncorrected draft judgment

Here’s the uncorrected draft that was handed down to the press and public today. Please note this is subject to editorial corrections – Beatson LJ made clear some stylistic changes would be made, and some repetitions removed, before the judgment is made final.

The one substantive change we can expect following discussion in court will be at the end of paragraph 31, where you’ll see my rough manuscript insertion. Matthew Ryder QC asked for the reference to his apparent concession to be modified because it had he said, “in the heat of advocacy”, been based on a misunderstanding of Jonathan Laidlaw’s “finality” submission. He had understood this to be an argument that the police would have to return all the “Miranda material” this weekend. Apparently in discussions between counsel later, the police side made clear that their position was in fact that inspection of the original material would have to cease then, but that the material itself need not necessarily all be returned by Sunday.

Beatson LJ agreed to mention that the apparent concession was based on Matthew Ryder’s misunderstanding of that concession. Before Matthew Ryder could suggest an alternative form of words, Beatson LJ forestalled any attempt to push him further (to be fair, I’m not sure that was what Ryder was trying to do) by wryly remarking that he’d allow corrections of fact as to what happened yesterday – but no “Monday morning quarterbacking”.

Interestingly, from the discussions that were taking place between lawyers in court today before the judgment was handed down, I understand that the police do not intend to return all the original material at midnight on Saturday. On what basis they claim the power to do this, I don’t know. I understand that some of the material will be returned, and that the police will write to Bindmans solicitors explaining their position in relation to the rest.


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