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Understanding How Conspiracy Works

Speaker: Jane Osborne QC
Chambers: 2 Harcourt Buildings

Jane Osborne QC
2 Harcourt Buildings

This seminar will cover

s.1 Criminal Law Act 1977

1) … if a person agrees with any other person or persons that a course of conduct shall be pursued which, if the agreement is carried out in accordance with their intentions, either—
(a) will necessarily amount to or involve the commission of any offence or offences by one or more of the parties to the agreement, or
(b) would do so but for the existence of facts which render the commission of the offence or any of the offences impossible,
he is guilty of conspiracy to commit the offence or offences in question.

Section 2 Criminal Law Act 1977
• (2) A person shall not … be guilty of conspiracy to commit any offence or offences if the only other person or persons with whom he agrees are (both initially and at all times during the currency of the agreement) persons of any one or more of the following descriptions, that is to say—
• (a) his spouse or civil partner;
• (b) a person under the age of criminal responsibility; and
• (c) an intended victim of that offence or of each of those offences.

Closed Conspiracy Indictment
Section 5(8) Criminal Law Act 1977
R v Testouri [2003] EWCA Crim 3735
A Basic Agreement
Chain Conspiracy
Wheel Conspiracy
• What kind of conspiracy is being alleged by the prosecution?
• What do the prosecution say that the agreement was?
• Who could the evidence (taken at it’s highest) show that this defendant agreed with?
• What could the evidence (taken at it’s highest) show that this defendant agreed to do?
• Is that the same as that the agreement alleged on the indictment?

You can contact Jane Osborne via her clerksroom on