Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Woolmington v D.P.P (English law case) ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Woolmington v D.P.P (English law case)
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: beaumont-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 17 Nov 2004 05:38 PST
Expires: 17 Dec 2004 05:38 PST
Question ID: 430124
Woolmington v D.P.P. is a very famous English law case from 1935. The
House of Lord quashed Woolomngton's conviction for murder and sent the
case back to the Court of Appeal. I want to know what happened next.
Did the Court of Appeal order a re-trial and, if so, what was the
verdict? Basically - did Woolmington live or die??
Subject: Re: Woolmington v D.P.P (English law case)
Answered By: answerfinder-ga on 17 Nov 2004 06:56 PST
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Dear beaumont-ga,

The House of Lords? actual decision was: 

"Order of the Court of Criminal Appeal reversed, and conviction
quashed: Further ordered that the cause be remitted back to the Court
of Criminal Appeal to do therein as shall be just and consistent with
this judgment. Lords' Journals, April 5, 1935."

In other words, the Court of Appeal would have not ordered a re-trial.
He was a free man.

I have searched the back records of the Times Newspaper and there is
no further mention of Woolmington after the 24 May 1935 when the
Lords? decision was fully reported. If there had been further trial,
then I have no doubt the papers would have reported it.

I hope this answers your question. If it does not, or the answer is
unclear, then please ask for clarification of this research before
rating the answer. I shall respond to the clarification request as
soon as I receive it.
Thank you

Search strategy
Times index (subscriber)
"reginald woolmington"
beaumont-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Woolmington v D.P.P (English law case)
From: frde-ga on 18 Nov 2004 04:47 PST
Phew - that must have been a landmark case

Swift J. was trying to say that 'malice and intent' are assumed unless
proven otherwise. Essentially a presumption of guilt.

I wonder whether Swift J. was swiftly retired.
Subject: Re: Woolmington v D.P.P (English law case)
From: susilgupta-ga on 17 Dec 2004 06:22 PST
Woolmington is an interesting case because the House of Lords argued
that the principle that the prosecution had to do all the running in
proving a case, including rebutting a defence, had been a 'golden
thread' running through English Law.  But if this was indeed the case,
why did the trial judge rule otherwise and why did the Court of Appeal
back him up?  The key is that many of the rights the English think are
their 'ancient heritiage' are in fact of recent invention - mostly the
late 19th century. Until the mid-19th Century the presumption of
guilty pervaded the British criminal justice sstem.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy