Practice and Procedure

R (On the application of VIVIAN MARY JONES) v GUILDFORD CROWN COURT (2003)

PUBLISHED December 19, 2003

When asking a court to reconsider the conclusion of another court, it was absolutely elementary that solicitors and counsel having conduct of the matter should obtain a transcript of the judgment of that other court.Application for permission to apply for a mandatory order requiring Guildford Crown Court to state a case in relation to the orders it made when it dismissed the applicant's appeal against conviction on 18 December 2002 for driving with excess alcohol. The application to state a case sought the opinion of the High Court on two questions: (i) whether a reasonable bench, properly directing itself, could of its own motion adjourn the trial of a matter part-heard for two days so that the prosecution could make good its case by bringing three witnesses from Lancashire; and (ii) whether a reasonable bench, properly directing itself, could have awarded the prosecution its costs for the hearings.HELD: (1) The first question was frivolous. (2) The second question was ineptly phrased because the Crown Court could properly make an order for costs. Technically the application could be dismissed outright. However the instant court did not have a transcript of what the judge had said. There was no excuse whatsoever for the solicitors and counsel involved not to have taken effective steps to obtain an order that a transcript of what the judge said be obtained. It was absolutely elementary that before considering a matter of this kind, the court, if there was a transcript of what the judge said, should obtain it. The instant court directed that a transcript of the judge's reasons for making the costs order should be obtained and sent to the defendant's solicitors, who would then be given three weeks to make such further submissions as they thought necessary. The court would then reconsider whether the order sought should be dismissed or made.Order accordingly.

[2003] EWHC 2527 (Admin)