Refugees who enter the Channel Tunnel

Ben Douglas-Jones persuaded the Court of Appeal that it is not an abuse of process to charge putative refugees who enter the Channel Tunnel with obstructing an engine even though a refugee defence is not available to them. The Court also accepted that (1) mens rea was not an essential element of the offence beyond an intention to commit an unlawful act; (2) an act that is unlawful in civil law is an unlawful act for those purposes; and (3) causation does not require a mental element but will be made out if the natural result is that an engine is obstructed.