Constitutional And Administrative First Year Law Student Assignment

1670 words - 7 pages

In this essay I will be debating whether the police acted lawfully in Hermione and Neville’s case. I will be analysing each step of both cases in a chronological fashion and discussing whether the police acts were lawful.
Firstly, In Hermione’s case PC potter thought that Hermione looked suspicious because she walked into Minerva's Mobiles and then immediately left, this lead PC Potter to follow Hermione and asked her what she was doing, which she replied ‘mind your business’. According to the police powers, PC Potter has the right to be suspicious, as long as it is reasonable suspicion. This act fights against the unlawful use of power of police officers, as otherwise It would mean that police officers would have free reign to abuse their powers as they please. In the case of Hussein v Chong Fook Kam (1970) Lord Devlin explained suspicion in further detail. “Suspicion in its ordinary meaning is the state of conjecture or summarise where proof is lacking”. Therefore so far in the eyes of the law PC Potter has not yet acted unlawfully. Also Hermione saying ‘mind your business’ could be deemed as wilful obstruction, which is defined as doing anything which makes it more difficult for the police to carry out their job. However, although PC Potter has reasonable suspicion to speak to Hermione, he has not yet put her under arrest so Hermione is within her rights to refuse conversation. A case that gives my point clear president is Rice v Connolly (1966) whereby police officers asked Rice for his name and address, he gave only his surname and street name. So far, overall PC Potter has acted in a completely lawful manner.
Secondly, PC potter went onto take Hermione by the arm and said 'turn around while I'm talking to you' Hermione then kicked PC Potter in the shins and was told 'you're nicked'... In the case of Collins v Wilcock (1984) in which Hermione’s case is almost identical. The suspect refused to speak to the police office, which lead the police officer to take the suspect by the arm, however during the struggle the defendant scratched the police officer, and was arrested for assault. The verdict held not guilty, as taking the suspect by the arm to question, not arrest was a form of battery and therefore an unlawful act on behalf of the police officer. Using this president, it’s obvious that PC Potters actions were unlawful and in fact he assaulted the suspect and by Hermione kicking the officer was an act of self-defence, however if PC Potter were to say to Hermione ‘your nicked’ before putting his hands on her it would not have been deemed as a unlawful offence. Even though the simplest means to indicate an arrest is to take the arm of the defendant, thus signalling detention, the officer must make the defendant aware they’re under arrest otherwise it’s a common battery case. In the case of Alderson v Booth (1969) is where president can be presented for the fact the PC Potter acted unlawfully. In the process of the judgement Robert Goff...


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