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Understanding Search Warrants

Speaker: Leo Seelig
Chambers: 2 Harcourt Buildings

Leo Seelig
2 Harcourt Buildings

This seminar will cover

Warrant Categories
There are three broad categories of warrants:
• For obtaining evidence of criminal offences.
• For obtaining evidence of other unlawful activity (e.g. s.28 Competition Act 1998).
• For remedying a dangerous situation (e.g. s.135 MHA 1983).

PACE Warrants
The most commonly used provision : Section 8 PACE 1984.

Can be granted by a magistrate who decides there are reasonable grounds for believing the criteria are satisfied. In complex investigations, applications are regularly made to Crown Court (and with good reason : Chatwani).

Application is ex parte.

A s.8 warrant is used to search for material which is likely to be relevant evidence and of substantial value to the investigation of an indictable offence that has been committed and to which one of the ‘accessibility conditions’ apply; s.8(1).

The Accessibility Conditions (s.8(3))
Applicant’s Obligations
Statutory Safeguards
Statutory safeguards : ss.15, 16, PACE Code B.
Section 15
Statutory Safeguards
Section 16
Examples of non-fatal / technical breaches:
Methods of Challenge

Full speaker’s notes are accessible in our members video training library area of the website. You need to be a member to view the full seminar.

If you would like to contact Leo Seelig please do so via his clerks in chambers on this e mail