The claimant was a prisoner. He became entitled to be considered for release on parole, but was not released because the Parole Board had not made a decision.
Held: The system for consideration of the release of discretionary and life prisoners infringed the human rights of such prisoners, insofar as the consideration of their release delayed the release. The lack of resources was insufficient as an excuse. Delay was part of the board’s scheme for consideration of life sentence prisoners. The hearing always took place after the end of the tariff period: cases were heard at the end of the next quarter.
Article 5(4) requires a review by the Board of whether the prisoner should continue to be detained once the tariff period has expired, and therefore requires a hearing at such a time that, whenever possible, those no longer considered dangerous can be released on or very shortly after the expiry date. ‘Article 5(1) is not relevant because the justification for the detention of a prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment (whether discretionary or automatic or mandatory) is that sentence and not the fixing of the tariff period.’ Although the required causal connection between the conviction and the deprivation of liberty might eventually come to be broken so as to give rise to a breach of Article 5(1), that would be so only very exceptionally and ‘mere delay in Article 5(4) proceedings, even after the tariff expiry date, would not . . break the causal link.’
Lord Woolf, Lord Chief Justice, Lord Justice Simon Brown and Lord Justice Buxton
Times 31-May-2002, Gazette 04-Jul-2002,  1 WLR 3284,  EWCA Civ 770,  ACD 66,  4 All ER 515,  HRLR 36
European Convention on Human Rights 5.1
England and Wales
Cited – Regina (on the Application of Cawser) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 5-Nov-2003
The claimant was serving a prison sentence for serious sexual offences. He would not be released until he had completed a sex offenders programme, but one was not made available, delaying his release.
Held: ‘The Secretary of State is not under . .
Distinguished – P, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 11-Dec-2003
The applicant was a discretionary life prisoner compulsorily detained in a mental hospital. His tariff had now expired. If not detained under the 1983 Act he would now be entitled to a review. He argued that there should be a joint hearing.
Cited – Hirst v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 6-Jul-2006
The prisoner had been released on licence but then recalled. He complained that the procedure infringed his human rights. He had been convicted of manslaughter, and was seen to be a long term danger. The court awarded him compensation saying that . .
Cited – Secretary of State for Justice v Walker; Same v James CA 1-Feb-2008
The claimant had been sentenced to a short period of imprisonment but with an indeterminate term until he demonstrated that it was no longer necessary for the protection of the public. He complained that the term having expired, no opportunity had . .
Cited – Faulkner, 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 . .
Cited – Sturnham, Regina (on The Application of) v The Parole Board of England and Wales and Another (No 2) SC 3-Jul-2013
From 4 April 2005 until 3 December 2012, English law provided for the imposition of sentences of imprisonment for public protection (‘IPP’). The Court addressed the practical and legal issues resulting from the new system.
Held: The decision . .
Cited – Haney and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Justice SC 10-Dec-2014
The four claimants, each serving indeterminate prison sentences, said that as they approached the times when thy might apply for parol, they had been given insufficient support and training to meet the requirements for release. The courts below had . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 January 2021; Ref: scu.172284