Featured image for Recent Judgements in Criminal Law: Key Takeaways and Analysis

Recent Judgements in Criminal Law: Key Takeaways and Analysis

Recent Judgements in Criminal Law: Key Takeaways and Analysis

As a leading solicitor at SQE Criminal Law & Practice Law UK, I keep a close eye on the latest judgements in criminal law. Staying up to date with these judgements is crucial for legal professionals, as they can significantly impact their practice and the outcomes of their cases. In this blog post, I will provide you with a comprehensive analysis of some recent key judgements in criminal law, highlighting the important takeaways.

1. The Importance of R v Brown

R v Brown is a landmark judgement that has garnered significant attention in the legal community. It dealt with the issue of consent in cases involving sadomasochistic activities. The judgement clarified that consent cannot be a defense in cases where the activities cause actual bodily harm or more serious injuries. This ruling has significant implications for cases involving consent as a defense, setting a precedent for future cases.

If you want to delve deeper into this topic, you can check out our article on SQE 1 Practice Exam Questions for further insights.

2. R v Johnson: A Change in Approach to Joint Enterprise

R v Johnson brought about a change in the approach to joint enterprise in criminal law. The judgement clarified that mere presence or association with a person who commits a crime is not enough to establish guilt under joint enterprise. The court emphasized the need for direct participation or encouragement for joint enterprise liability. This ruling provides clarity to legal professionals and defendants alike, ensuring a fairer application of joint enterprise doctrine.

For more information on joint enterprise and other criminal law topics, we recommend our article on SQE 1 Practice Mocks FLK1 FLK2, where we discuss various exam scenarios related to this subject.

3. R v Kendrick: A Shift in Burden of Proof

The judgement in R v Kendrick marked a significant shift in the burden of proof in criminal cases. The court ruled that once the prosecution has proven the elements of a crime, the burden shifts to the defendant to provide evidence or raise a defense that casts doubt on their guilt. This judgement elevates the importance of defense strategies and adequate representation, highlighting the need for legal professionals to thoroughly investigate and present a robust defense.

If you are interested in exploring effective defense strategies, you can take a look at our comprehensive guide on SQE 2 Preparation Courses for insights and tips.

4. The Impact of R v Smith on Self-Defense

R v Smith introduced important considerations in cases involving self-defense. The judgement clarified that the test for self-defense is objective, focusing on the reasonable belief of the defendant at the time of the incident. It emphasized that the use of force must be proportionate to the threat faced by the defendant. This ruling provides clarity on the evaluation of self-defense claims and ensures a fair assessment of the circumstances.

For more information on self-defense and other criminal law principles, you may find our article on SQE 1 Preparation Courses helpful in deepening your understanding.


Staying informed about recent judgements in criminal law is vital for legal professionals to effectively represent their clients and navigate the legal landscape. The key takeaways from the judgements discussed in this blog post highlight the evolving nature of criminal law and the continuous need to adapt legal strategies accordingly.

If you would like more information on upcoming SRA SQE exams and important dates, visit our article on SRA SQE Exam Dates for a comprehensive overview.

By staying updated on recent judgements and actively engaging with legal developments, legal professionals can enhance their legal skills and provide a higher level of expertise to their clients.