Judgments - In re Kanaris (Respondent)(application for a writ of Habeas Corpus)(on appeal from the Administrative Court of the Queen's Bench Division of Her Majesty's High Court of Justice)

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    42. Secondly, I think that there may be some cases involving a large number of defendants or complex issues where, in the particular circumstances of the case, it may be appropriate for the judge to conduct a preparatory hearing, which has the effect of terminating the custody time limit, notwithstanding that a trial cannot be held in the near future. In such a case, where a defendant remains in custody and an application is made to the Crown Court for bail, it will be for the judge, weighing all the circumstances, including the period for which the defendant will remain in custody before trial if he were not granted bail, to decide whether or not bail should be granted. As the European Court of Human Rights has stated in Wemhoff v Federal Republic of Germany [1968] 1 EHRR 55 para 10 in considering Art 5.3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms:

    "The reasonableness of an accused person's continued detention must be assessed in each case according to its special features. The factors which may be taken into consideration are extremely diverse. Hence, the possibility of wide differences in opinion in the assessment of the reasonableness of a given detention."

Therefore I do not think it is appropriate to state as an inflexible rule that a judge should not start a preparatory hearing until he is certain that he is in a position to proceed with the hearing itself expeditiously.


    43. Accordingly for the reasons which I have given I would allow the appeal and would hold that a preparatory hearing did take place in respect of the respondent on 5 October 2001. I would remit to the High Court the issue whether the respondent should continue to be released on bail.