Joint Enterprise

18 July 2011

The Justice Committee has decided to hold a brief inquiry looking at the issues around Joint Enterprise in England and Wales. Joint Enterprise, or secondary liability is a common law doctrine which allows a number of people to be charged and convicted for the same offence

The inquiry will seek to answer the following questions:

  • How often and in what types of cases is joint enterprise used?
  • Has the use of joint enterprise in charging defendants changed in recent years?
  • What would be the advantages and disadvantages of enshrining the doctrine in legislation?
  • What would be the impact of implementing the Law Commission’s proposals as set out in Participating in Crime? (LawCom 305, CM 7084 2007)

Written evidence should be in Word (no later than 2007) or rich text format with as little use of colour or logos as possible, and sent by e-mail to

The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.
The deadline for submissions is 12 September 2011.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum and should be no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. View guidance on the submission of evidence to Select Committees.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Further information 

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