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Judith Constable

Judith Constable

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Core Practice Area: Crime, Regulatory Crime
Call:  2012 (solicitor 2000)
Inn:
Grays Inn
Education: Exeter University
Membership: HSE & EA Regulatory List B (2019), UKELA (United Kingdom Environmental Law Association), Criminal Bar Association

Regulatory crime

Judith is a highly experienced Regulatory prosecutor. She was employed by the Environment Agency for over 17 years, dealing not only with prosecutions but also other enforcement proceedings/notices etc. Before that she was employed by Devon County Council specialising in Trading Standards work and Torbay Council dealing with the full range of Local Authority work for the legal dept.

She has experience prosecuting and defending in a significant variety of cases:

  • For the Environment Agency, cases involving waste, both significant landfill sites through to fly-tipping, water pollution, farming including silage clamps, chemical leaks and soil erosion.
  • For Local Authorities, cases involving nuisance, waste, litter, health and safety, Trading Standards, abattoirs, food hygiene, planning, education, harbours
  • For the RSPCA, animal welfare
  • For DEFRA, (Forestry Commission), illegal tree felling
  • For the Fire Service, fire safety/ houses in multiple occupation

Whilst with the Environment Agency, she prosecuted a wide range of cases, in particular the most serious cases brought by the EA in the Crown Court. She dealt with prosecution from the initial advice and case review, summons and preparation of all papers, disclosure and the advocacy that followed. She is thus exceptionally well placed to assist in house regulatory prosecutors, no matter what the stage of the case.

Judith is approachable, pragmatic, easy to work with, regarded as providing excellent written work from the drafting of summons/ indictment, advice, case summaries and opening notes and submissions on sentence addressing the guidelines and setting out sentencing authorities. In all this, she proceeds in most cases by the mantra that prosecutions “must be cost-effective” at a time that Local Authority budgets are limited.

She believes in the importance of working as members of a team involving the lawyers and case officers and the importance of achieving consensus both in the preparation and prosecution of a case. She likes to include case officers, team leaders and managers, through to staff in the legal department in the decision making process. She thus has an excellent understanding of the dynamics of working with an in-house legal team.

Judith has advised upon and obtained Criminal Behaviour Orders, substantial POCA orders, disqualification of company directors. She has advised on, prepared and obtained environmental remediation agreements and orders. The most complex environmental remediation agreements involved significant schedules of work and negotiations with experts. In this area, her view is that in appropriate cases prosecution can be used to achieve reform and is not merely an end in itself.

Other regulatory experience includes attendances at inquiries, tribunals and in the County Court (housing and anti-social behaviour).

General Crown Court Crime – prosecution and defence

Whilst a significant part of Judith’s criminal practice has been in the regulatory field, she has also prosecuted extensively for CPS in the Crown Court and been instructed by CPS and defence in a wide variety of cases.

Disclosure and Training

She has over 20 years’ experience of writing and delivering training material for regulatory officers and lawyers, either by way of lectures or small group seminars.

Judith has particular expertise in disclosure having devised systems, created pro-forma documents and written and delivered training to lawyers and officers. For a number of years, she represented the Environment Agency nationally at the Whitehall Prosecutors Disclosure Sub group.

Since June 2019, Judith has been retained by the Serious Fraud Office in London as specialist LPP Counsel and has considerable experience as specialist counsel dealing with legal professional privilege.

Education and Qualification

Macclesfield High School for Girls, Exeter University (BA Hons, Archaeology)
Having worked for many years for DCC, she became a solicitor whilst working for Torbay Council in 2000, then obtained Higher Rights in 2005 and was called to the Bar in 2012.

Other

Judith grew up near Liverpool; she has a degree in Archaeology, an interest in history and is a regular swimmer, walker and horse rider. She lives in East Devon.