Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Supreme Court dismisses bail bid

Home Secretary Theresa May will face questions over a recent judgment overturning 25 years of police practice

The highest court in the land has dismissed a bid to suspend a controversial legal ruling on police bail which hampers investigations and overturns 25 years of police practice.

Three Supreme Court justices dismissed the "unusual" application from Greater Manchester Police to stay the judgment pending a full appeal at the same court on July 25, said a court spokesman.

The initial ruling, made by a district judge and backed by a judicial review at the High Court, means officers can no longer bail suspects for more than four days without either charging or releasing them.

A Supreme Court spokesman said: "On July 1, the appellants, Greater Manchester Police, filed an application inviting the Supreme Court to stay the effect of the High Court's judgment.

"This application is unusual and it is questionable whether it would be open to the court to grant this relief. In any event, however, the judgment was given on May 19 and an application for permission to appeal was made on June 21.

"The Government has announced its intention to introduce emergency legislation this Thursday, July 7. In these circumstances, the court has decided that the application should be dismissed."

Emergency laws will be rushed through the Commons on Thursday and the Lords next week to reverse the decision amid fears the full appeal to the Supreme Court would take too long, the Government has said.

The Supreme Court's decision came as Home Secretary Theresa May prepared to give evidence on the issue to the Commons home affairs select committee.

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