Regina v Governor of Her Majesty’s Prison Brockhill ex parte Evans (No 2): HL 27 Jul 2000

The release date for a prisoner was calculated correctly according to guidance issued by the Home Office, but case law required the guidance to be altered, and the prisoner had been detained too long. The tort of false imprisonment is one of strict liability, and the governor was liable in damages even though he had acted correctly according to then current standards. A court judgment declares the law as it has been. There is no special law relating to prisoners to exempt a governor from liability in such a situation. For the detention to be lawful it must be lawful under domestic law, comply with the general requirements of the Convention, and not be open to criticism on the ground that it is arbitrary. A short-term prisoner who has served half his sentence and a long-term prisoner who has reached his non-parole date have a statutory right to be free: a conditional right, but nonetheless a right, breach of which gives an enforceable right to redress. Lord Slynn discussed the idea of a prospective only ruling, and said that there may be situations in which it would be desirable, and in no way unjust, that the effect of judicial rulings should be prospective or limited to certain claimants. Lord Hobhouse said that prospective ruling was a denial of the constitutional role of the courts.

Lord Slynn of Hadley Lord Browne-Wilkinson Lord Steyn Lord Hope of Craighead Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough
Times 02-Aug-2000, Gazette 17-Aug-2000, [2000] 3 WLR 843, [2001] 2 AC 19, [2000] UKHL 48, [2000] 4 All ER 15, [2000] UKHRR 836
House of Lords, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights
England and Wales
Appeal fromRegina v Governor HM Prison Brockhill, ex parte Michelle Carol Evans (No 2) CA 19-Jun-1998
The plaintiff was serving a sentence of imprisonment. Her detention was correctly calculated in accordance with the law as understood. That method was later disapproved when the Divisional Court laid down (everyone has assumed correctly) a different . .

Cited by:
CitedJindal Iron and Steel Co Ltd and others v Islamic Solidarity Shipping Company Jordan Inc (‘The Jordan II’) HL 25-Nov-2004
Cargo was damaged by rough handling during loading and/or discharging, and/or inadequate stowage due to failure to provide dunnage, failure to secure the coils and/or stacking them so that the bottom layers were excessively compressed. The House was . .
CitedSecretary of State for the Home Department v Hindawi and Headley CA 13-Oct-2004
The applicant was a foreign national serving a long-term prison sentence. He complained that UK nationals would have had their case referred to the parole board before his.
Held: The right to be referred to the parole board was a statutory . .
CitedRegina v Parole Board ex parte Smith, Regina v Parole Board ex parte West (Conjoined Appeals) HL 27-Jan-2005
Each defendant challenged the way he had been treated on revocation of his parole licence, saying he should have been given the opportunity to make oral representations.
Held: The prisoners’ appeals were allowed.
Lord Bingham stated: . .
CitedNational Westminster Bank plc v Spectrum Plus Limited and others HL 30-Jun-2005
Former HL decision in Siebe Gorman overruled
The company had become insolvent. The bank had a debenture and claimed that its charge over the book debts had become a fixed charge. The preferential creditors said that the charge was a floating charge and that they took priority.
Held: The . .
CitedLunn, Regina (on the Application of) v The Governor of HMP Moorland CA 25-May-2006
Having committed an offence whilst on licence, the judge had sentenced the defendant to a term of imprisonment to follow completion of the original sentence. The order drawn up by the clerk recorded that it should be served concurrently. He served . .
CitedSomerville v Scottish Ministers HL 24-Oct-2007
The claimants complained of their segregation while in prison. Several preliminary questions were to be decided: whether damages might be payable for breach of a Convention Right; wheher the act of a prison governor was the act of the executive; . .
CitedRaissi, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 14-Feb-2008
The claimant appealed against refusal of his request for judicial review of the defendant’s decision not to award him damages after his wrongful arrest and detention after he was wrongly suspected of involvement in terrorism. He had been discharged . .
CitedSK (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 6-Nov-2008
Immigration detention proper after prison release
The Home Secretary appealed against a finding that he had unlawfully detained the applicant. The applicant had been detained on release from prison pending his return to Zimbabwe as recommended by the sentencing judge under section 6 of the 1971 . .
CitedLumba (WL) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 23-Mar-2011
The claimants had been detained under the 1971 Act, after completing sentences of imprisonment pending their return to their home countries under deportations recommended by the judges at trial, or chosen by the respondent. They challenged as . .
CitedKambadzi (previously referred to as SK (Zimbabwe)) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 25-May-2011
False Imprisonment Damages / Immigration Detention
The respondent had held the claimant in custody, but had failed to follow its own procedures. The claimant appealed against the rejection of his claim of false imprisonment. He had overstayed his immigration leave, and after convictions had served a . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Damages, Human Rights, Prisons

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.159080