MPs to investigate joint enterprise provisions

Friday, 23 May 2014

The House of Commons Justice Committee is planning to undertake a second inquiry into 'joint enterprise' provisions, the Institute for Race Relations reports.

Joint enterprise, the Institute notes, allows for:

'individuals who ‘knowingly assisted or encouraged’ a crime to be charged as though they had personally committed the crime themselves. ‘Knowing assistance’ can include where defendants ‘should have foreseen’ the results of others’ actions. This has led to hundreds of people being convicted of murder (which has a mandatory life sentence) and other serious crimes, which the state acknowledges they did not physically commit.'

The Justice Committee has said it would ‘welcome factual and/or statistical information on the extent, if any, to which the use of joint enterprise has disproportionately affected certain communities and ethnic groups.’