Regina v Board of Visitors of the Maze Prison, ex Parte Hone: HL 21 Jan 1987

The House was asked whether a prisoner appearing before a Board of visitors on a disciplinary charge is entitled as of right to legal representation at the hearing. The prisoners had failed in their claims to such a right.
Held: The argument that they were entitled as of right to legal representation at the hearing was rejected.
Lord Goff of Chieveley said: ‘though the rules of natural justice may require legal representation before a board of visitors, I can see no basis for Mr Hill’s submission that they should do so in every case as of right. Everything must depend on the circumstances of the particular case . . But it is easy to envisage circumstances in which the rules of natural justice do not call for representation, even though the disciplinary charge relates to a matter which constitutes in law a crime, as may well happen in the case of a simple assault where no question of law arises, and where the prisoner charged is capable of presenting his own case. To hold otherwise would result in wholly unnecessary delays in many cases, to the detriment of all concerned including the prisoner charged, and to wholly unnecessary waste of time and money, contrary to the public interest.’

The Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone, Lord Chancellor, Lord Bridge of Harwich, Lord Ackner, Lord Oliver of Aylmerton, Lord Goff of Chieveley
[1988] AC 379, [1988] 2 WLR 177, [1988] 1 All ER 321, [1987] UKHL 9
Prison Act (Northern Ireland) 1953
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Home Secretary, Ex parte Tarrant and Others 1985
An application for an oral hearing by the prisoner had been made on a special basis. The court set out six considerations of the conditions under which a prisoner facing internal disciplinary proceedings should be given access to legal . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Prisons, Human Rights, Northern Ireland, Natural Justice

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.248700