In Jackson v R. [2021] EWCA Crim 901 (14 June 2021) (bailii.org), the Court of Appeal praised Alex for his ‘admirable written and oral submissions which we have found most helpful in approaching this appeal.’

The Court was concerned with a case where a ten-year restraining order had been issued in the Crown Court preventing an offender from contacting persons he had previously waged a campaign of harassment against.

When those ten years had almost expired, one of those persons exercised her statutory right to make submissions to the Crown Court and asked that the order be extended for a further ten years.

There had been no breaches of the order during the first ten years but the complainant argued that as the order had been successful, and as she was anxious about losing its protection on expiry, it should be extended. The Crown Court agreed, and the offender appealed.

The offender submitted, first, that the application should never have been entertained, as there had been no change of circumstances since the time the order was first imposed; and secondly that even if the Crown Court had been entitled to hear the complainant’s application, it ought to have dismissed it on its merits as extending it was neither necessary nor proportionate.

As it was not the Crown’s application to extend, the CPS took a neutral position on the second submission, but instructed Alex at short notice to attend the Court of Appeal and make submissions to assist the Court on the first, novel, point of law.

Alex successfully resisted the submission that the application should never have even been entertained. The Court found there was no rule of law requiring a complainant to demonstrate a change of circumstances (at least on a first application) in such situations, and that the Crown Court had been right to consider her application on its merits. Turning to the second argument, the Court agreed that on the merits, extending the order for a further 10 years had been wrong, and quashed the extension.

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