Regina 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 to be heard. There may be cases of urgency. We would add that there may be difficulty in disclosing the reasons, or part of them, if, for example, the intention to segregate is based upon information obtained as to threatened misconduct, such as violence against another prisoner. Giving detailed notice of the grounds might well indicate to the prisoner the source of the information and thereby create the risk of an immediate retaliation against the giver of the information. In this case the giving of notice to the applicant might have been regarded as giving rise to the risk of an immediate protest in breach of the rules by the applicant intended to cause others to join his protest. In another case a governor might reasonably claim that he could not sensibly disclose the reasons for his intended decision, or some part of those reasons, because of the need not to reveal either the source of the information or that certain facts are known to the prison department. Mr Sedley maintained that this was not such a case and, if the right to be heard could be allowed, the law should require that it be allowed.
We do not accept this submission. In our view, having due regard to the interests of the prisoner and of society at large, including the due administration of the prisoners, fairness does not require that a prisoner be given the right to be heard before a decision affecting him is made under rule 43.’ and ‘Good administration will often allow and cause a governor to provide such an opportunity to a prisoner but that, in our view, is for decision by the governor having regard to any policy instructions by the Secretary of State. There could be no unqualified obligation applicable in all cases for the reasons stated above. The rule, if it existed, would have to be stated in terms providing for the necessary qualifications. The requirements of the law, in prison administration, based upon natural justice, should, in our view, be both clear and simple. Any such rule would open many rule 43 decisions to question on the ground that the reasons given were deficient.’


Ralph Gibson, Nolan J


[1990] 3 WLR 465


Prison Rules 1964 43


England and Wales

Cited by:

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 . .
Appeal fromRegina 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 . .
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 . .
CitedRegina 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Administrative, Prisons

Updated: 24 April 2022; Ref: scu.223054