Hirst v United Kingdom: ECHR 24 Jul 2001

The applicant asserted that the delays in the reviews, undertaken by the Parole Board, of his continued detention as a discretionary life prisoner, was a breach of his right to a speedy decision. The delays were between 21 and 24 months. Such delays were unacceptable. The article required not only a speedy conclusion, but, where an automatic repeated review was involved, those reviews must be at proper intervals. The time must be set for each separate case, and there were substantial differences between cases, and such differences might include consideration of developments and changes in mental health which might require longer periods to be assessed, and there was some flexibility to bring forward reviews, but that option was not open to the prisoner. The period was unreasonable and the case had not been decided speedily.
The court repeated the statement it had made in Oldham, and also stated in terms that ‘The court does not find that any loss of liberty may be regarded as flowing from the finding of a breach of article 5(4), which in this case is limited to the delay in between reviews’
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 5-4; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses partial award – Convention proceedings.
Costa Pres, Louciades, Kuris, Tulkens, Jungwiert, Bratza Greve JJ
Times 03-Aug-2001, 40787/98, [2001] ECHR 477, [2001] ECHR 481
Bailii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights Art 5.4
Human Rights
ConfirmedOldham v The United Kingdom ECHR 26-Sep-2000
Where a parole board took two years to consider the applicant’s parole, this was unreasonable, and a breach of the Article 5.4 requirement to deal with such matters speedily. Accordingly the continued detention of the applicant became unlawful. The . .

Cited by:
CitedMurray v The Parole Board Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 6-Nov-2003
The applicant had been convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He had twice previously been released on licence and had his licence revoked. His tarriff had expired The period between reviews of his detention had been two years, but . .
CitedWilson v Wychavon District Council and Another Admn 20-Dec-2005
The claimant complained that the law which protected an occupier of a dwelling house from a temporary stop notice did not apply to those living in caravans, and that this was discriminatory.
Held: The claim failed. ‘usually a change of use of . .
CitedBrooke and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v The Parole Board and Another CA 1-Feb-2008
The claimant prisoner complained that the Parole Board was insufficiently independent of government to provide a fair hearing. The court at first instance had found that the relationship between the Parole Board and the sponsoring Department put the . .
CitedFaulkner, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice and Another SC 1-May-2013
The applicants had each been given a life sentence, but having served the minimum term had been due to have the continued detention reviewed to establish whether or not continued detention was necessary for the protection of the pblic. It had not . .
CitedTigere, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills SC 29-Jul-2015
After increasing university fees, the student loan system was part funded by the government. They introduced limits to the availability of such loans, and a student must have been lawfully ordinarily resident in the UK for three years before the day . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 14 February 2021; Ref: scu.159490