Joint enterprise and secondary liability
Produced in partnership with Joanne Cecil of Garden Court Chambers
Joint enterprise and secondary liability

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Joanne Cecil of Garden Court Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Joint enterprise and secondary liability
  • Principal v secondary liability
  • Actus reus
  • Mental element (mens rea)
  • Indictment
  • Evidence
  • Sentencing
  • Can I mount an appeal on the basis of R v Jogee?

Where two or more parties embark on a joint enterprise, as either a principal or secondary party, each will be liable for acts committed in pursuance of that joint enterprise with the necessary intent, unless the principal goes beyond the scope of what was agreed.

This Practice Note is concerned with secondary liability.

In the 2016 cases of R v Jogee (Appellant) and Ruddock v The Queen, the Supreme Court clarified and restored the test for the mental element of intent which must be established when a defendant (D) is accused of being a secondary party to a crime, see News Analysis: Supreme Court rules on ‘joint enterprise’. Following the conclusion of the retrial in the R v Jogee case, the reporting restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court in were lifted.

Following R v Jogee, there is no longer a separate category of parasitic accessory/joint enterprise liability. D’s liability is to be determined by reference to ordinary principles of secondary liability.

Principal v secondary liability

A principal, (P), is the perpetrator of the offence. D is liable as an accessory (and not as a principal) if he or she assists or encourages or causes P to commit the offence and D does not, by his or her own conduct, perform the actus reus.

Where two or more persons embark on a joint enterprise

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