14th Mar 2023 | News


The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has handed down judgment in the appeal of James Miller v The King [2023] UKPC 10. Tom Poole KC acted for the successful Respondent, instructed by Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

The appeal provided the Privy Council with an opportunity to assess the extent to which evidential provisions in the Bahamian Penal Code aimed at assisting a jury in determining whether the Crown has established the necessary level of intention for the commission of the particular crime charged are of value in assisting a jury to understand how to determine the question of a person’s intention.

The Privy Council held that the relevant provisions involve an unnecessary complex approach to proof of intention and that it is generally unwise to elaborate on a simple direction on intention. Having considered the Crown Court Compendium published by the Judicial College for England and Wales and the Crown Court Bench Book for Northern Ireland, the Privy Council stated that both suggest directing a jury to decide intention by taking account of what the defendant did and said before, at the time of and after the incident, and then drawing conclusions from these things. The Board held that their use across a number of different jurisdictions vouches the value of such an approach.


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