Al-Hasan, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department: HL 16 Feb 2005

Prisoners were disciplined after refusing to be squat searched, saying that the procedure was humiliating and that there were no reasonable grounds to suspect them of any offence against prison discipline. The officer who had been involved in ordering the search was the one later who decided on their complaint that it was unlawful.
Held: Alternative arrangements could have been and should have been made.
Lord Brown said: ‘it seems to me clear both as a matter of principle and authority that once proceedings have been successfully impugned for want of independence and impartiality on the part of the tribunal, the decision itself must necessarily be regarded as tainted by unfairness and so cannot be permitted to stand.’ The decisions were set aside, but because the 1998 Act was not retrospective, and no prisoner had served extra days, no damages would be awarded.
Lord Rodger discussed the possibility of a prison governor being impartial, saying: ‘I have no doubt that an informal and fair-minded observer would regard the prison governor or their deputies as being quite capable of interpreting and applying the prison rules fairly and independently, even though they are obviously committed to upholding them.’
Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
[2005] UKHL 13, Times 18-Feb-2005, [2005] 1 All ER 927, [2005] 1 WLR 688
House of Lords, Bailii
Human Rights Act 1998
England and Wales
CitedLocabail (UK) Ltd, Regina v Bayfield Properties Ltd CA 17-Nov-1999
Adverse Comments by Judge Need not be Show of Bias
In five cases, leave to appeal was sought on the basis that a party had been refused disqualification of judges on grounds of bias. The court considered the circumstances under which a fear of bias in a court may prove to be well founded: ‘The mere . .
CitedDavidson v Scottish Ministers HL 15-Jul-2004
The claimant had sought damages for the conditions in which he had been held in prison in Scotland. He later discovered that one of the judges had acted as Lord Advocate representing as to the ability of the new Scottish Parliamentary system to . .
CitedPabla Ky v Finland ECHR 22-Jun-2004
A member of the Finnish Parliament who also sat as an expert member of the Court of Appeal was said to lack independence as a judge.
Held: The complaint was rejected. Also there was no no objective justification for the applicant’s fear as to . .
CitedMcGonnell v The United Kingdom ECHR 8-Feb-2000
The applicant owned land in the parish of St Martin’s in Guernsey. He made a number of applications for planning permission for residential use, but they were all rejected. In about 1986 he moved into a converted packing shed on his land. In 1988 a . .
CitedJ I MacWilliam Co Inc v Mediterranean Shipping Company S A, ‘The Rafaela S’ CA 16-Apr-2003
Machinery was damaged whilst in transit, on the second of two legs. The contract described itself as a through bill of lading, but the port of discharge was not the final destination.
Held: The contract was a straight bill of lading. A . .
CitedRegina v Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Ex parte Parker 1953
. .
CitedIn re S (Minors) (Care Order: Implementation of Care Plan) HL 14-Mar-2002
Section 3(1) of the 1998 Act is not available where the suggested interpretation is contrary to express statutory words or is by implication necessarily contradicted by the statute. The judge’s task is to interpret, not to legislate. The proposed . .
CitedRegina v Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Ex parte Fry 1954
. .
CitedLeech v Governor of Parkhurst Prison HL 1988
The House was asked whether a disciplinary decision by a governor was amenable to judicial review.
Held: The functions of a governor adjudicating upon disciplinary charges are separate and distinct from his functions in running the prison; . .
CitedRegina v Deputy Governor of Camphill Prison, Ex parte King 1985
The governor’s role in maintaining good order and discipline within the prison was part of his overall function of managing the prison, and is not susceptible to judicial review. ‘Management without discipline is a recipe for chaos.’ . .
CitedRegina v Board of Visitors of Hull Prison, Ex parte St Germain (No 2) CA 1979
The court discussed the proper limits of imprisonment: ‘despite the deprivation of his general liberty, a prisoner remains invested with residuary rights appertaining to the nature and conduct of his incarceration . . An essential characteristic of . .
CitedRe McKiernan’s Application 1985
The court found difficulty in drawing a logical distinction between the disciplinary functions of governors and Boards of Visitors. . .
First InstanceRegina v Carroll and Al-Hasan and Secretary of State for Home Department Admn 16-Feb-2001
The claimants challenged the instruction that they must squat whilst undergoing a strip search in prison. A dog search had given cause to supect the presence of explosives in the wing, and the officers understood that such explosives might be hidden . .
CitedEzeh and Connors v The United Kingdom ECHR 15-Jul-2002
The applicants were serving prisoners. They had been the subject of disciplinary proceedings in which they had been denied the right to representation. They claimed an infringement of their right to a fair trial.
Held: Both proceedings had . .
CitedRegina v Board of Visitors of Frankland Prison, Ex parte Lewis 1986
Given the role of the Board in discipline within a prison, it can assist the achievement of justice in disciplinary proceedings for the adjudicator to have knowledge of the workings of a particular prison. . .
CitedDavidson v Scottish Ministers HL 15-Jul-2004
The claimant had sought damages for the conditions in which he had been held in prison in Scotland. He later discovered that one of the judges had acted as Lord Advocate representing as to the ability of the new Scottish Parliamentary system to . .
CitedProcola v Luxembourg ECHR 28-Sep-1995
A dairy association complained of milk quota orders made with retrospective effect under domestic provisions. A regulation had been submitted in draft to the Conseil d’Etat, which had advised that a statute was necessary to give retrospective effect . .
CitedRegina v HM Prison Service ex parte Hibbert Admn 16-Jan-1997
The general contention that the governor, being part of the prison administration and privy to the decision, could not conduct an adjudication within th eprison was not ‘something outside the normal situation, which could justify intervention in . .
CitedLawal v Northern Spirit Limited HL 19-Jun-2003
Counsel appearing at the tribunal had previously sat as a judge with a tribunal member. The opposing party asserted bias in the tribunal.
Held: The test in Gough should be restated in part so that the court must first ascertain all the . .
CitedSengupta v Holmes and Others, Lord Chancellor intervening CA 31-Jul-2002
The appellant had applied for leave to appeal to a single judge, who had refused the application. He appealed and was granted leave by two judges. He then objected when the single judge who had refused leave was included in the panel of judges to . .
CitedPorter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .
CitedRegina v Carroll and Al-Hasan and Secretary of State for Home Department CA 19-Jul-2001
Two appellants were prisoners at a high security prison. A search involved the prisoner squatting so that items which might be hidden in their genital or anal areas could be seen. The appellants refused to squat. Both were charged with refusing to . .
CitedDimes v Proprietors of Grand Junction Canal and others HL 26-Jun-1852
The Lord Chancellor, Lord Cottenham, owned a substantial shareholding in the defendant canal which was an incorporated body. He sat on appeal from the Vice-Chancellor, whose judgment in favour of the company he affirmed. There was an appeal on the . .
CitedMillar v Dickson PC 24-Jul-2001
The Board was asked whether the appellants had waived their right to an independent and impartial tribunal under article 6 of the Convention by appearing before the temporary sheriffs without objecting to their hearing their cases on the ground that . .
CitedIn re McKerr CANI 10-Jan-2003
The appellant’s son and two others had been shot dead by police officers. There remained considerable controversy over the circumstances. The matter had been taken to the ECHR which had found the enquiry inadequate. The parties now disputed the . .

Cited by:
CitedGillies v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions HL 26-Jan-2006
The claimant said that the medical member of the tribunal which had heard his disability claim was biased. The doctor was on a temporary contract and also worked for an agency which contracted directly the Benfits Agency. The court of session had . .
CitedKing, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice CA 27-Mar-2012
In each case the prisoners challenged their transfer to cellular confinement or segregation within prison or YOI, saying that the transfers infringed their rights under Article 6, saying that domestic law, either in itself or in conjunction with . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 26 January 2021; Ref: scu.222766