I was proud to support a Private Members Bill brought by my colleague, Kim Johnson MP, the Joint Enterprise (Significant Contribution) Bill.
Joint enterprise is used to prosecute someone who intentionally “assists or encourages” an offence – and if found guilty, they are punished as harshly as if they had been the principal offender, which can lead to life imprisonment.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that the law had indeed taken a “wrong turn” for over 30 years.
If passed, this bill would clarify that someone must make a “significant contribution” to an offence to be criminally liable, this simple one-line Bill would restore Parliament’s original meaning of joint enterprise and correct a wrong turn by the courts with respect to Joint Enterprise.
It would ensure that persons who make no significant contribution to a crime are not convicted of being complicit in that crime.