Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2008] All ER (D) 200 (Jan)
Court: Queen's Bench Division, Administrative Court

Cranston J

Representation Stephen Field (instructed by McLarty & Co) for the claimant.
  Ben Watson (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) for the Secretary of State.
Judgment Dates: 28 January 2008


Prison - Discretionary life sentence - Review of continuing detention after expiry of minimum term - Court of Appeal recommending review of claimant's detention as soon as possible - Whether date of next scheduled parole board hearing reasonable - Whether defendants failing to deal with claimant's case with appropriate expedition -  1, art 5(4).

The Case

The speedy determination of a person's detention for the purposes of art5(4) of the European Convention on Human Rights, as set out in Sch1 to the required a system that had certain characteristics: (i) it had to be responsive to the case of each individual; (ii) it had to be capable of flexible application; (iii) it had to provide regular reviews, at reasonable intervals, to see whether detention remained justified; and (iv) it had to treat like cases alike. If a system met those requirements, the issue became whether the failures to act complied with public law principles. Although the claimant's tariff expired in mid-2003 after a successful appeal in which it was recommended that his detention should be reviewed as soon as possible, his detention was not contrary to art5(4) of the Convention in circumstances where parole board hearings had been held in August 2006 and July 2007, but the next was not scheduled until January 2009, by which time the claimant should have completed two offending behaviour courses.

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