Authors The Secret Barrister

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Some initial observations about this case, and in particular what the Court of Appeal made of the Attorney General’s application to refer these sentences as “unduly lenient”.

Spoiler: it makes uncomfortable reading for the Attorney General.

First, by way of background. I was one of several commentators astonished that the Attorney General, who has no known experience of practising criminal law, decided to personally present this serious case at the Court of Appeal.

It appeared an overtly political decision.

Comments leaked to the press confirmed this was a political decision, to capitalise on a tragic case in the headlines.

A “friend” of the Attorney General told the Express that she was pursuing the case *against* legal advice. She also took a preemptive pop at the judges.

On the day of the hearing, it appeared from selected reports that the AG was out of her depth. She appeared to be making political submissions to the Court of Appeal that have no place in a case of this type.

The Court of Appeal judgment helps understand what happened.

The AG played a limited role. She “rehearsed some of the facts and said that the sentences had caused widespread public concern”

Her contribution was seemingly not considered by the Court to be legal submissions. Oof.