Search Warrants

One Legal acted in two of the leading cases on unlawful search warrants.

We successfully represented Mr Van der Pijl (R (Van der Pijl) v Kingston Crown Court [2013] 1 WLR 2706.) in having a search warrant (obtained by the police to search his home and seize items) declared unlawful.

We represented the three brothers in a high-profile and well-reported case against the National Crime Agency (NCA) (C. & Ors, R (on the application of) v The National Crime Agency & Anor [2015 EWHC] 1283 (Admin)).

In the judgment the NCA were described as “Incompetent”, “Ignorant” and “Systematically Flawed” by a High Court Judge, as he found that their application for warrants in the case was lacking and the resultant warrants therefore unlawful.

Speaking after the judgment, we stated that the NCA had “failed to have any regard to the fundamentals of the statutory [search warrant application] scheme”.

There is a double duty to be fulfilled by the Police and the courts in applying for and granting search warrants. This double duty should act to safeguard the citizen, to protect the individual in society from unwanted and unlawful interference by agents of the state.

It is incumbent upon any authority applying for a warrant to disclose to the courts the full and frank reasoning behind their application. They should disclose all relevant information, to provide the court with the full picture it requires to make decisions which impact upon the rights and freedoms of the individual. In turn the court is expected to act as gate-keeper; they should scrutinise and consider the application put before it and should only grant a warrant if they are convinced of the merits of the application.

One Legal have a long history of representing clients at all stages of the criminal justice process. If you have had a search warrant issued against you – from police warrants on domestic premises to NCA warrants on big businesses, we may be able to help you in assessing (and potentially challenging) the legality of the warrant.

Such actions are time-limited so it is essential that you call our offices immediately (as soon as the warrant is executed) to ensure suitable action can be taken on your behalf.