Criminal damage and conscience: AG’s Reference No.1

On 18 March, the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) handed down Attorney General’s Reference On A Point of Law No. 1 of 2023 [2024] EWCA Crim 243. The reference arose from the acquittal at her trial for criminal damage of a member of a group, “Burning Pink”, that grew out of Extinction Rebellion [5].

S.5(2) of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 applies to an offence under s.1(1) and states that:

“(2) A person charged with an offence to which this section applies, shall, whether or not he would be treated for the purposes of this Act as having a lawful excuse apart from this subsection, be treated for those purposes as having a lawful excuse— Continue reading