Regina v Deputy Governor of Parkhurst Prison, Ex parte Hague: CA 5 Jun 1990

A decision to segregate a prisoner under rule 43 is to be made by the governor of the prison where he is held. Taylor LJ said: ‘Apart from the urgency of decisions under r 43, there may well be other public policy grounds for not giving reasons in advance to the prisoner so as to enable him to make representations. Giving reasons would often require unwise disclosure of information. Such disclosure could reveal to prisoners the extent of the governor’s knowledge about their activities. It would reveal the source of such information, thereby putting informants at risk. It could cause an immediate escalation of trouble.’
A clear distinction could be drawn between the procedural requirements in disciplinary proceedings and the use of rule 43: ‘In disciplinary proceedings which may result in punitive action, the full panoply of natural justice principles is appropriate and Parliament has provided that it should apply. Although the consequences of rule 43 are in some respects akin to those imposed as punishment, the object of the rule is not punitive. Indeed, where it is invoked at the prisoner’s request it is specifically aimed at protecting him from illegal punishment at the hands of fellow prisoners. So, in the context of rule 43, although the governor and the regional director must act fairly and make reasoned decisions, the principles of natural justice are not invoked in the rules. Instead, alternative safeguards are provided to protect the prisoner’s rights.’
Taylor LJ went on to say: ‘No doubt in many cases the governor will be able, as here, to give reasons at the time of the decision or shortly after. But the same considerations of public policy as persuaded me . . to hold that reasons are not in law required as a matter of course before a decision to segregate may apply with equal force after the decision. Again, the guiding factors must be the subject-matter and the circumstances . . I would not be prepared to hold that in all cases a prisoner has a legal right to be given the reasons for his segregation.’


Sir Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson V-C, Taylor and Nicholls LJJ


Guardian 05-Jun-1990, [1990] 3 All ER 687, [1990] 3 WLR 1210


Prison Rules 1964 43


England and Wales


Appeal fromRegina v Deputy Governor of Parkhurst Prison, Ex parte Hague, Weldon v Home Office QBD 1990
A prisoner challenged the decision that he should be segregated under rule 43.
Held: Ralph Gibson LJ said: ‘In this case Mr Sedley acknowledged that there could not be an unqualified obligation in all cases upon the governor to allow the right . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromRegina v Deputy Governor of Parkhurst Prison, Ex parte Hague, Weldon v Home Office HL 24-Jul-1991
The prisoner challenged the decision to place him in segregation under Prison Rule 43. Under rule 43(1) the initial power to segregate was given to ‘the governor’. The case arose from the fact that the governor of one prison had purported to . .
CitedSecretary of State for the Home Department v SP CA 21-Dec-2004
The applcant, a girl aged 17 was in a young offender institution. She complained that she had been removed to segregation without first giving her chance to be heard. The respondent argued that there were sufficient post decision safeguards to . .
CitedCommissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Reeves (Joint Administratix of The Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) HL 15-Jul-1999
The deceased was a prisoner known to be at risk of committing suicide. Whilst in police custody he hanged himself in his prison cell. The Commissioner accepted that he was in breach of his duty of care to the deceased, but not that that breach was . .
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 . .
CitedBourgass and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice SC 29-Jul-2015
The Court considered the procedures when a prisoner is kept in solitary confinement, otherwise described as ‘segregation’ or ‘removal from association’, and principally whether decisions to keep the appellants in segregation for substantial periods . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Prisons, Administrative

Updated: 24 April 2022; Ref: scu.223055