Adams, Regina v (Northern Ireland): SC 13 May 2020

Secretary of State alone to consider confinement

The appellant had been detained under an Interim Custody Order (ICO) during internment during the troubles in Ireland, and then convicted of attempting to escape and escaping. He now appealed from that conviction saying that the order under which he had been detailed had been unlawful, In that the Secretary of State had been required to consider the evidence for detention personally, but had not done so.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The statutory language in this instance is unmistakably clear. It is the Secretary of State who must consider whether the person concerned is suspected of being involved in terrorism etc. Clear and distinct roles were assigned to the SS and to others. Absent the possible invocation of the Carltona principle, there could be no doubt that resort to the power to make an ICO was reserved to the Secretary of State alone. The matter should be approached as a matter of textual analysis, unencumbered by the application of a presumption, but with the enjoinder of Lord Griffiths well in mind.
‘The making of the ICO in respect of the appellant was invalid. It follows that he was not detained lawfully. It further follows that he was wrongfully convicted of the offences of attempting to escape from lawful custody and his convictions for those offences must be quashed.’

Lord Kerr, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Kitchin, Lord Burnett
[2020] UKSC 19, UKSC 2018/0104
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC 2019 11 19am Video, SC 20 11 19 pm Video, SC, SC summary, SC Summary Video
Detention of Terrorists (Northern Ireland) Order 1972
Northern Ireland
Appeal fromAdams, Regina v CANI 14-Feb-2018
Appeal against convictions on 20 March 1975 and 18 April 1975 on counts of attempting to escape from detention contrary to paragraph 38(a) of Schedule 1 of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973 (‘the 1973 Act’) and common law.
CitedCarltona Ltd v Commissioners of Works CA 1943
Ministers May Act through Civil Servants
The plaintiffs owned a factory which was to be requisitioned. They sought a judicial review of the lawfulness of the order making the requisition, saying that the 1939 Regulations had been implemented not by the Minister as required, but by an . .
Not approvedRe Golden Chemicals Limited 1976
In issue was a provision in the 1967 Act which stated that, if it appeared to the Secretary of State that it was expedient in the public interest that a corporate body should be wound up, he could present a petition for its winding-up. That power . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Oladehinde HL 18-Oct-1990
A decision at Senior Executive Officer level was accepted as appropriate in a deportation case. There was an express form of delegation, and acts of the immigration officers required to be regarded as the acts of the Home Secretary.
Lord . .
CitedDoody v Secretary of State for the Home Department CACD 1992
The Court considered the procedure for fixing the period for which prisoners sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment should serve for retribution and deterrence before their sentences could be reviewed. Held Staughton LJ considered the issue of . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Doody and Others HL 25-Jun-1993
A mandatory lifer is to be permitted to suggest the period of actual sentence to be served. The Home Secretary must give reasons for refusing a lifer’s release. What fairness requires in any particular case is ‘essentially an intuitive judgment’, . .
CitedRegina v Harper CANI 1990
The appellant had been convicted of a number of serious offences, largely as a result of admissions made by him during interviews by the police. Among the grounds of appeal was a claim that extension of the appellant’s detention had wrongly been . .
CitedMcCafferty, Re Writ of Habeas Corpus CANI 16-Dec-2009
The applicant was a prisoner who had been released on licence while serving a sentence for possession of an explosive substance. His licence was revoked, and he was arrested a month after his release. The revocation of the licence was authorised by . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Prisons

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.650771