In an unprecedented joint sitting of the two appellate courts, justices have ruled that that the law allowing defendants to be convicted of murder under the principle of 'joint enterprise' has been wrongly interpreted for 30 years.
The application of the doctrine of joint enterprise has been perceived to cause unfairness in a number of cases in the Cayman Islands and this clarification of the law is most welcome. The way in which the law had been interpreted prior to R v Jogee meant that defendants would be convicted of murder if they could have foreseen that a murder or violent act was likely to be carried out by a co-defendant. The unanimous decision of a panel of five senior judges has now ruled that 'foresight' is no longer the test.
The judgment is likely to pave the way for persons convicted under the joint enterprise principle to appeal their convictions to the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal.
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