AN organisation founded by a Wigan mum to campaign for changes to a controversial law has brought one of its cases to the Supreme Court.
The country’s highest court began reviewing the case brought by Joint Enterprise: Not Guilty by Association (Jengba), founded by Janet Cunliffe who is originally from Pemberton, yesterday.
The Supreme Court is looking at the case of Ameen Jogee, who was found guilty under joint enterprise law for egging on a man who stabbed a policeman in 2011, in a hearing scheduled for two days.
Jengba was founded by Mrs Cunliffe after her son Jordan was given a murder sentence for his part in the death of Warrington dad Garry Newlove, a crime she maintains he played no part in.
Joint enterprise allows the associates of people who commit crimes to be found guilty of all that results from the act if they encouraged it or did nothing to prevent it while being able to do so.
Getting the justices to look at Jengba’s intervention: ‘Does joint enterprise over criminalise secondary parties?’ represents a major milestone in a battle fought over several years by Mrs Cunliffe and her fellow campaigners.
Mrs Cunliffe said: “To be at the Supreme Court watching the proceedings is a massive privilege and something we have been fighting for for a long time.
“You never know what the outcome will be but I am encouraged by the QC who has put the case forward.
“I expected there to be people wanting to know what was going on but the level of interest has just been unbelievable, it’s everywhere.
“The courtroom is absolutely packed and it’s not just family members, I believe there are quite a few influential people really interested in what is happening.”
Jengba successfully crowd-funded £10,000 to pay the fees of the lawyers who are presenting the organisation’s submissions on joint enterprise to the Supreme Court.
Depending on the verdict reached other joint enterprise cases, including Jordan’s, could be scrutinised once again.
Jengba says the law has led to numerous injustices, with people being locked up who are either entirely innocent or receive sentences disproportionate to their actions.
The campaigners have also accused police and prosecutors of targeting poor people and ethnic minorities.
Jengba was shortlisted for a human rights award by Liberty, which nominated it in the campaign of the year category at its annual prize-giving earlier this year.
Mrs Cunliffe has also tirelessly worked to raise awareness of joint enterprise alongside other Jengba members, recently participating in a protest march for International Wrongful Conviction Day and appearing in the national media.