Colin Wells is a barrister who is often considered to be “the go-to person” on abuse of process matters. His expertise is demonstrated through his recent publication, published by Oxford University Press this year (2023), which is a comprehensive update on procedural situations concerning abuse of process, offering insights from extensive practical knowledge.
Here Colin gives an update on abuse of process, highlighting categories of abuse whereby the court has the power to stay proceedings. He shares details of contemporary case law to illustrate the application of these categories. He then reveals the ways in which stays are an exercise of discretion, before outlining countervailing factors and considerations and demonstrating the importance of disclosure.
Categories of abuse Maxwell  1 WLR 1837 Hamilton v Post Office Ltd  EWCA Crim 577 R v AAD  EWCA Crim 106. R v AFU  ECA Crim 23 Stays Discretion Ahmed v Director General of Security Service  EWHC 3458 (QB). Hunter v Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police  AC 529 D Ltd v A  EWCA Crim 1172  Wednesbury unreasonableness Paul Daly, ‘Wednesbury’s Reason and Structure’  Public Law 238 Judicial discretion Tague v the Governor of HMP Full Sutton and the National Crime Agency  EWHC 3576 (Admin)  Countervailing factors and considerations R v Downey Central Criminal Court, 21 February 2014 Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 R v Malkinson  EWCA Crim 954