Judith Constable

Year of call:2012
Expertise: Crime, Regulatory
Judith Constable April2021-1
Appointments:Level 2 prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service
Memberships:Criminal Bar Association, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Environment Agency (EA) Regulatory List B (2019), Western Circuit
Email Barrister's Clerk
See all our barristers

Background

  • Solicitor: 2000
  • Called to the Bar: 2012

Practice areas

  • Regulatory crime
  • Serious crime
  • Financial crime
  • General crime

What others say

‘Judith is approachable, pragmatic, easy to work with, providing excellent written work’
Client

Profile

Judith is a highly experienced regulatory prosecutor and a Level 2 Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutor. She was employed by the Environment Agency for over 17 years, dealing not only with prosecutions but also other enforcement proceedings/notices. 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 department. Since joining chambers Judith has prosecuted or defended a considerable variety of regulatory work including trading standards and consumer protection, environmental, health and safety, planning, environmental health and animal welfare.

While with the Environment Agency, Judith prosecuted a wide range of cases, in particular the most serious cases brought by the EA in the crown court, from dealing with the initial advice and case review, summons and preparation of all papers, and from disclosure through to the advocacy that has followed. She is thus exceptionally well placed to assist in-house regulatory prosecutors, no matter what the stage of the case.

She believes in the importance of teamwork, 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 and 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). Her degree is in archaeology and she has prosecuted cases involving damage to ancient monuments.

Judith has more than 20 years’ experience of writing and delivering training material for regulatory officers and lawyers, either by way of lectures or small group seminars. She has particular expertise in disclosure, having devised systems, created pro-forma documents and written and delivered training both locally and nationally to lawyers and officers. For a number of years, she represented the Environment Agency at the Whitehall Prosecutors Disclosure Subgroup.

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.

Judith is able to accept instructions from public access clients.

Judith is regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

Recent Cases

  • R (Cornwall Council) v D (2021). Defended the prosecution of a planning offence. This case involved arguments about disclosure and abuse of process.
  • R (Plymouth City Council) v C (2019). Prosecuted the trial of an individual for a variety of waste offences; then obtained a criminal behaviour order following conviction.
  • R (Environment Agency) -v- Glebe Quarries Ltd (2019). This case involved the illegal deposit of asbestos; and the sentence included a detailed remediation order.
  • R (Cornwall Council) v T (2019).  Defended one of a number of defendants charged with Trade Marks offences.  
  • RSPCA v C (2018). Trial for offences under the Animal Welfare Act.
  • Plymouth City Council v P (2018). Trial of a breach of a noise abatement notice and criminal behaviour order following conviction.
  • R (Environment Agency) v South West Water Ltd (2016). Following a guilty plea this case involved negotiating substantial remediation works and resulted in a substantial fine under the very large organisation provisions of the Sentencing Guidelines. Judith has prosecuted many cases involving water companies of which this is one example. Another case, against a different water company, resulted in a £1M Enforcement Undertaking.
  • R (Environment Agency) v B and others, (2014). Led junior in waste trial that involved ten defendants. POCA orders were made following convictions and significant site improvements were agreed before sentence.

Devon Chambers-clerk montage

Would you like to book a barrister?

Do you have any questions or would like to check the availability of a particular barrister? Then get in contact with one of our friendly clerks.