Case details

Brandt (Appellant) v Commissioner of Police and others (Respondents) (Montserrat)

Case ID: JCPC 2020/0079

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Montserrat)

Case summary

Issue

The principal issues before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council are as follows:
1. Was the search of the appellant’s mobile phones a breach of his constitutional rights, and if so, what if any remedy is he entitled to?
2. Was the appellant’s claim for constitutional relief an abuse of process, and can it be an abuse of process despite the finding of the High Court that it was not vexatious or frivolous?

Facts

In September 2015, the Montserrat police obtained from a magistrate a warrant to search premises occupied by Mr Brandt, who was suspected of having committed various offences under the Montserrat Penal Code. During the search, the police seized various mobile phones. The police subsequently searched the phones. They were found to contain potentially incriminating evidence. Mr Brandt was charged, in September 2016, with offences relating to the sexual exploitation of minors. He has not yet been tried.

In May 2019, Mr Brandt filed a claim for constitutional relief seeking, among other things, a declaration that the evidence obtained as a result of searching his mobile phones is inadmissible in his trial. That claim was dismissed by the High Court as an abuse of process. The Court of Appeal upheld that ruling, but also held that the search of Mr Brandt’s mobile phones was unlawful, although not in breach of his constitutional rights. Mr Brandt now appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Parties

Appellant(s)

David Brandt

Respondent(s)

(1) Commissioner of Police; (2) Attorney General; (3) Director of Public Prosecutions

Appeal

Justices

Lord Reed, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Sales, Lord Hamblen, Lord Stephens

Hearing start date

23 Mar 2021

Hearing finish date

23 Mar 2021

Watch hearing
23 Mar 2021 Morning session
 

Judgment details

Judgment date

10 May 2021

Neutral citation

[2021] UKPC 12