Joint Enterprise is a doctrine used in certain criminal law scenarios in order for two or mores individuals to be charged with the same crime. Previously many participants indirectly associated with crimes were not convicted. The doctrine allows for more guilty parties involved in crimes to be convicted. This allows for groups of criminals to be successfully charged and is therefore meant to prevent unfairness in the law, and theoretically promotes consistency in court and judgement.
Types of Joint Enterprise
(1)Where two or more people join in committing a single crime, in circumstances where they are, in effect, all joint principals . E.g P and D got into an argument with V, D proceeds to encourage P to hit V. By encouraging or assisting P this makes D liable too. (2) Where D assists or encourages P to commit a single crime. E.G.P and D got into an argument with V, D proceeds to encourage P to hit V. By encouraging or assisting P this makes D liable too. (3) Where P and D participate together in one crime (crime A) and in the course of it P commits a second crime (crime B) which D had foreseen he might commit. e.g.P1 and P2 burgle a house together, both taking a TV together, D was a lookout for the house owner. The house owner comes in and P and V get into a fight leading to P killing V, this was foreseeable by D and therefore makes him just as liable as P.
R V JOGEE
In 2016, R v Jogee abolished the principle of Parasitic Accessorial Liability. The Court heard that Jogee egged on his friend, who stab a Leicestershire police officer but it was argued that Jogee could not have foreseen what his friend intended to because he was not inside the house at the time of the murder. The court held that the common law on Joint Enterprise had previously been misinterpreted. This decision could allow for a lot of prison to seek appeal.
A) The first advantage of the doctrine of joint enterprise is that it serves public interest. It protects the community by not allowing offenders to get away and do new crimes. It is a traditional view that sanctions create order. Punishment of offenders helps them and others learn what is right and wrong.
B) The second advantage is that the doctrine "allows for the attribution of criminal responsibility in difficult and complex cases". Some legal professionals support this view. The complex case of Stephen Lawrence proves this point. He was murdered in an unprovoked attack when he was 18.The doctrine allowed for the murderers to be charged
C) The third advantage of the doctrine is that it helps to control group related violence. Tyrone Clarke was killed near his home at the age of 16. He was beaten by 20 men with baseball bats and then stabbed. Four people were prosecuted which all played part in the stabbing.
Many people do not agree with the doctrine and say that it is easily abused. Therefore someone who isn’t immediately involved in certain parts of a crime will be charged the same as those who are. E.G. Individuals who did not cause the fatal injury will also be liable to be convicted of murder. In large cities, particularly London gang murders are increasingly common Large groups of youths from ethnic minorities have been convicted and charged using Joint Enterprise from these areas. Some legal commentators state that Joint Enterprise has been used in a racially discriminating manner. Others suggest that the reason youths are targeted is due to negative stereotypes associated with large groups of teenagers.
The doctrine of joint enterprise is complex, contains opacity lacks clarity and it is used inconsistently resulting to miscarriage of Justice. This is mainly because the concept of joint enterprise is not enshrined in the statute. Lack of clarity of the law leads to more cases being taken to the court of Appeal. The law on joint enterprise is so complex that juries might find it impossible to understand how to reach the right verdict.
“ We said to the Law Commission that there is no prospect of addressing [the law on complicity] in the course of this Parliament.” Alleviated problems in the use of joint enterprise 2.33% response 1 There are no problems with the use of joint enterprise 2.33% response 1 Not aware of the DPP guidelines 9.30% 4
Don’t know 20.93% response 9
disadvantages of joint entperprise
-One main disadvantage is that you could be convicted for not doing a thing but merely being at the scene of the crime. For example, the Blackburn arson attack where Habib Iqbal was convicted and sentenced for 25 years. He was did not partake in the action but was merely walking down the street. Just bywalking down the street Habib Iqbal ws convicted and arrested for something he did not do.
- B) There are even cases where the defendant is blind and joint enterprise is used. For example Jordan Cunliffe was convicted and sentenced for a crime he did not partake in nor did he see as he is blind. Jordan's neighbour had mistaken a group of friends as vandals and had challenged them to an altercation. Though jordan had not taken part nor seen the incident taking place he was arrested under joint enterprise. Many people may see this as unfair as his disability had not been taken into account. The courts had said "if he can kick a ball, he can kick a man".
- · C) A person can be arrested even though there is no evidence to show this. For example Michael Rungen was convicted under joint enterprise even though he was a drive by witness. There murder that had taken place was seen as a gangland murder however there was no evidence of this. A person could be driving a way from the scene and still be arrested and convicted under joint enterprise.
1) Record keeping - Cases in which multiple defendants are charged with the same principal offence, the alleged basis of liability is identified and recorded on file. Recording of alleged principal and/or accessorial liability should be updated where charges are amended and (if applicable) at point of conviction. A review should be undertaken to support the trialling and development of the new charging and recording process outlined above, and to monitor prosecutions.
2) Communications - Judges should be offered training and guidance on
appropriate ways to cover issues of principal and
accessorial liability in the delivery of sentencing remarks. The courts, the CPS and other bodies should avoid use
of the now toxic phrase “joint enterprise” in future, and
consideration should be given to the development of an
3) Sentencing- The Sentencing Council should consider providing
guidance on the sentencing of multiple offenders whose
specific roles with respect to the offence(s) are not
1) LAW COMMISSION (2007) Section 8 of the Accessories and Abettors Act 1861 and section 44(1) of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 should be repealed and replaced by a statutory provision which describes the conduct element as ‘assisting or encouraging’.
2) HOUSE OF COMMONS, JUSTICE COMMITTEE (2010-2012) The DPP to issue guidance on proper threshold of when association becomes evidence of involvement in crime. The Government can Consult the Law Commission proposals
3) CPS Guidance on; Joint Enterprise Charging decision (2012) Little impact on the decision to prosecute . No record was kept of prosecutions brought or convictions made , under the joint enterprise.
Criminal Law & Justice Weekly , “ Joint Enterprise” 2016 Bureau of Investigative Journalism “Joint Enterprise” 2014 House of Commons, Justice Committee “ Joint Enterprise “ 2010 -2012 CPS Guidance on: Joint Enterprise Charging Decision (2012)
Jacobson, J., Kirby A., Hunger, G., ‘Joint Enterprise’(2016) 180 CL&JW
McClenaghan M., McFadyean M.,Stevenson R., ‘Joint Enterprise: An Investigation into the Legal doctrine of Joint Enterprise in Criminal Convictions’ (2014) Bureau of Investigative Journalism. House of Commons, Justice Committee “ Joint Enterprise “ 2010 -2012
R v Jogee  2 WLR 681 JENGbA: Jordan Cunliffe JENGbA: Michael Rungen JENGbA: Habib Iqbal