Oldham 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 provisions apply not only to original proceedings, but also to statutory automatic reviews of detention. No standard time can be set down, because the situations of detention and of the prisoners varies. The automatic two year period left the applicant with no opportunity to seek an earlier review of detention. The Court awarded damages of andpound;1000 for a breach of Article 5(4) but said: ‘the court considers that the applicant must have suffered feelings of frustration, uncertainty and anxiety flowing from the delay in review which cannot be compensated solely by the finding of violation’.
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 5-4; Pecuniary damage – claim rejected; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses partial award – Convention proceedings


Times 24-Oct-2000, 36273/97, [2000] ECHR 432, [2000] ECHR 433


Worldlii, Bailii


European Convention on Hman Rights 5-4

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 . .
CitedRegina v Parole Board, ex parte MacNeil CA 18-Apr-2001
The interval between occasions of consideration of the granting of parole to a discretionary life prisoner, was to be determined on the facts and circumstances of each prisoner. There was no rule that the maximum period between reviews was to be two . .
CitedDegainis, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice Admn 3-Feb-2010
The claimant sought damages. He had been released from prison and recalled, but the review of his continued detention was not undertaken as it should have been. The defendant said that the acknowledgement and apology were sufficient just . .
ConfirmedHirst 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 . .
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Prisons

Updated: 04 June 2022; Ref: scu.165935