Regina 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: ‘While an oral hearing is most obviously necessary to achieve a just decision in a case where facts are in issue which may affect the outcome, there are other cases in which an oral hearing may contribute to achieving a just decision. The possibility of a detainee being heard either in prison or, where necessary, through some form of representation has been recognised by the European Court as, in some instances, a fundamental procedural guarantee in matters of deprivation of liberty . .’
Lord Bingham concluded: ‘The common law duty of procedural fairness does not . . require the Board to hold an oral hearing in every case where a determinate sentence prisoner resists recall, if he does not decline the offer of such a hearing. But I do not think the duty is as constricted as has hitherto been held and assumed. Even if important facts are not in dispute, they may be open to explanation or mitigation, or may lose some of their significance in the light of other new facts. While the Board’s task certainly is to assess risk, it may well be greatly assisted in discharging it (one way or the other) by exposure to the prisoner or the questioning of those who have dealt with him. It may often be very difficult to address effective representations without knowing the points which are troubling the decision-maker. The prisoner should have the benefit of a procedure which fairly reflects, on the facts of his particular case, the importance of what is at stake for him, as for society. ‘ and ‘the Parole Board should be empowered (a) to examine whether circumstances have arisen sufficient in law to justify further detention of a determinate sentence prisoner released on licence and, if so, (b) to decide whether the protection of the public calls for the further detention of the individual detainee. The Parole Board is empowered to discharge those functions. Its review will in my opinion satisfy the requirements of article 5(4) provided it is conducted in a manner that meets the requirement of procedural fairness already discussed.’ The revocation of a licence is not itself a punishment. In each case, the prisoner might have made representations which would have helped the Board make a better decision.

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Carswell
[2005] UKHL 1, Times 28-Jan-2005, [2005] 1 WLR 350, [2005] 1 All ER 755, 18 BHRC 267, [2005] HRLR 8, [2005] 2 Prison LR 14
Bailii, House of Lords
European Convention on Human Rights 5 6
England and Wales
CitedKioa v West 18-Dec-1985
(High Court of Australia) Immigration and Aliens – Deportation – Power of Minister – Principles of natural justice – Whether applicable – Standing as Australian citizen of infant daughter of aliens – Intended deportation order – Whether notice . .
Appeal fromRegina (Smith) v Parole Board (No 2) CA 31-Jul-2003
The applicant having been released on licence had his licence revoked. The decision had been made at a hearing which considered evidence on paper only, which he said was unfair.
Held: The case law had maintained a proper distinction between . .
Appeal fromWest, Regina (on the Application of) v Parole Board CA 13-Nov-2002
The prisoner had been released on licence, but then recalled and re-arrested it being alleged that he was in breach of his conditions. His solicitors sought to represent him at the hearing of the parole board which considered whether to recommend . .
CitedRegina v Sharkey CACD 10-Nov-1999
Where an offender had been released from prison under licence, but committed a further offence whilst released on licence, and had already been recalled to prison by way of his licence being revoked under section 39, that did not prevent a court . .
CitedWeeks v The United Kingdom ECHR 2-Mar-1987
The applicant, aged 17, was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to life imprisonment in the interests of public safety, being considered by the trial judge on appeal to be dangerous.
Held: ‘The court agrees with the Commission and the . .
CitedPractice Direction (Custodial Sentences: Explanations) LCJ 24-Jan-1998
Courts sentencing offenders to imprisonment are now to explain the effect of remission etc in open court when sentencing; the exact form of words was set out. . .
CitedRegina v Parole Board, ex Parte Watson CA 11-Mar-1996
The test as to whether there was still a need to protect the public safety from the defendant was just as appropriate when considering the revocation of a licence, as it was when the need for continued detention was being reviewed before the grant . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Doody and Others HL 25-Jun-1993
A mandatory lifer is to be permitted to suggest the period of actual sentence to be served. The Home Secretary must give reasons for refusing a lifer’s release. What fairness requires in any particular case is ‘essentially an intuitive judgment’, . .
CitedRegina 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 . .
CitedIn re De Wilde, Ooms and Versyp v Belgium (No 1) ECHR 18-Nov-1970
The applicants had been detained under Belgian vagrancy laws. An earlier decision had found that their rights had been infringed because of the lack of effective means for them to challenge their detention. The Belgian government said that the . .
CitedSanchez-Reisse v Switzerland ECHR 21-Oct-1986
That a detainee may be heard either in person or, where necessary, through some form of representation can be a fundamental procedural guarantee in matters of deprivation of liberty. Article 5(4)was inspired by the English law of habeas corpus. . .
CitedDe Wilde, Ooms and Versyp v Belgium ECHR 18-Jun-1971
ECHR Judgment (Just satisfaction) Preliminary objection rejected (non-exhaustion); Pecuniary damage – claim rejected; Non-pecuniary damage – finding of violation sufficient 2832/66; 2835/66; 2899/66
CitedWinterwerp v The Netherlands ECHR 24-Oct-1979
A Dutch national detained in hospital complained that his detention had divested him of his capacity to administer his property, and thus there had been determination of his civil rights and obligations without the guarantee of a judicial procedure. . .
CitedEngel And Others v The Netherlands (1) ECHR 8-Jun-1976
The court was asked whether proceedings in a military court against soldiers for disciplinary offences involved criminal charges within the meaning of Article 6(1): ‘In this connection, it is first necessary to know whether the provision(s) defining . .
CitedEzeh and Connors v The United Kingdom ECHR 9-Oct-2003
The applicants were prisoners subject to disciplinary proceedings. The offences were equivalent to criminal charges in domestic law. They were refused legal assistance, and had additional terms added to their sentences.
Held: The charges . .
CitedLauko v Slovakia ECHR 2-Sep-1998
The applicant was fined under the domestic Minor Offences Act for accusing his neighbours, without justification, of causing a nuisance. The government relied on the modesty of the punishment capable of being imposed and the fact that the offence . .
CitedVan Droogenbroeck v Belgium ECHR 24-Jun-1982
The applicant was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for theft. He had a previous convictions and was thought to have a persistent tendency to crime, and was placed at the government’s disposal for 10 years on that ground. This was subject to . .
CitedOzturk v Germany ECHR 21-Feb-1984
A minor infringement may be the subject of a criminal charge: ‘If the Contracting States were able at their discretion, by classifying an offence as ‘regulatory’ instead of criminal, to exclude the operation of the fundamental clauses of Articles 6 . .
CitedGaryfallou Aebe v Greece ECHR 24-Sep-1997
The fact that only a fine was imposed did not prevent an allegation being one of a criminal offence. . .
CitedCampbell and Fell v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-Jun-1984
Campbell and others had been involved in conduct within the prison leading to charges against them of mutiny and of striking an officer with a broom handle. The nature of the conduct in question was plainly susceptible of giving rise to criminal . .
CitedAP MP and TP v Switzerland ECHR 29-Aug-1997
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 6-2; Not necessary to examine Art. 6-1; Not necessary to examine Art. 6-3; Costs and expenses award – Convention proceedings
Fines were imposed . .
CitedBenham v United Kingdom ECHR 8-Feb-1995
Legal Aid was wrongfully refused where a tax or fine defaulter was liable to imprisonment, and the lack of a proper means enquiry, made imprisonment of poll tax defaulter unlawful. A poll tax defaulter had been wrongly committed to prison by . .
CitedThynne, Wilson and Gunnell v The United Kingdom ECHR 25-Oct-1990
The applicants, discretionary life prisoners, complained of a violation on the ground that they were not able to have the continued lawfulness of their detention decided by a court at reasonable intervals throughout their imprisonment.
Held: A . .
CitedE v Norway ECHR 29-Aug-1990
The applicant suffered serious brain damage and was an untreatable psychopath. He was convicted of numerous violent offences and sentenced to a period of imprisonment. He was also sentenced to preventive detention under the Norwegian Penal Code, as . .
CitedAldrian v Austria ECHR 1990
(Admissibility) ‘The Commission recalls its constant case-law according to which proceedings concerning the execution of a sentence imposed by a competent court, including proceedings on the grant of conditional release, are not covered by Article 6 . .
CitedAerts v Belgium ECHR 30-Jul-1998
A person detained as a person of unsound mind should not be kept in a prison, but if the institution concerned is within the appropriate category, there is no breach of Article 5. While measures depriving a person of his liberty often involve an . .
CitedBrown v United Kingdom ECHR 26-Oct-2004
The applicant had been sentenced to eight years imprisonment for supplying heroin and released on licence after serving two-thirds of this sentence. He was recalled for breach of the residence conditions of his bail. The Parole Board then considered . .
CitedGanusauskas v Lithuania ECHR 7-Sep-1999
The applicant had been released on licence after serving half a six year prison service under a law which permitted the release of a prisoner on licence after serving half his sentence. There was then a series of court hearings which resulted in the . .
CitedMaaouia v France ECHR 5-Oct-2000
A deportation order, made against a Tunisian, was eventually quashed by the French Administrative Court and the Article 6 complaints related to the length of time taken in the proceedings. The Court’s reasoning why Article 6 does not apply to . .
CitedAmand v Home Secretary and Minister of Defence of Royal Netherlands Government HL 1943
A Dutch serviceman who had been arrested for desertion and brought before a magistrate who ordered him to be handed over to the Dutch military authorities under the Allied Forces Act 1940. An application for habeas corpus was rejected by a . .
CitedRegina v Montila and Others HL 25-Nov-2004
The defendants faced charges under the two Acts. They raised as a preliminary issue whether it is necessary for the Crown to prove that the property being converted was in fact the proceeds, in the case of the 1994 Act, of drug trafficking and, in . .
CitedJordan v United Kingdom; McKerr v United Kingdom; similar ECHR 4-May-2001
Proper Investigation of Deaths with Army or Police
Claims were made as regards deaths of alleged terrorists in clashes with the UK armed forces and police. In some cases the investigations necessary to justify the taking of life had been inadequate. Statements made to the inquiry as to the . .
CitedPabla Ky v Finland ECHR 22-Jun-2004
A member of the Finnish Parliament who also sat as an expert member of the Court of Appeal was said to lack independence as a judge.
Held: The complaint was rejected. Also there was no no objective justification for the applicant’s fear as to . .
CitedClingham (formerly C (a minor)) v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; Regina v Crown Court at Manchester Ex parte McCann and Others HL 17-Oct-2002
The applicants had been made subject of anti-social behaviour orders. They challenged the basis upon which the orders had been made.
Held: The orders had no identifiable consequences which would make the process a criminal one. Civil standards . .

Cited by:
Appealed toRegina (Smith) v Parole Board (No 2) CA 31-Jul-2003
The applicant having been released on licence had his licence revoked. The decision had been made at a hearing which considered evidence on paper only, which he said was unfair.
Held: The case law had maintained a proper distinction between . .
Appealed toWest, Regina (on the Application of) v Parole Board CA 13-Nov-2002
The prisoner had been released on licence, but then recalled and re-arrested it being alleged that he was in breach of his conditions. His solicitors sought to represent him at the hearing of the parole board which considered whether to recommend . .
CitedRegina (Broadbent) v Parole Board QBD 27-May-2005
The claimant was a long term prisoner released on licence. He had been stopped and charged with conspiracy to supply a controlled drug. He pleaded not guitly. He challenged revocation of his licence.
Held: A charge alone was not sufficient to . .
CitedMcClean, Re HL 7-Jul-2005
The appellant was serving a life sentence for terrorist offences. He complained that he should have been released under the 1998 Act. It was said he would be a danger to the public if released. On pre-release home leave he was involved in a . .
CitedRoberts v Parole Board HL 7-Jul-2005
Balancing Rights of Prisoner and Society
The appellant had been convicted of the murder of three police officers in 1966. His tariff of thirty years had now long expired. He complained that material put before the Parole Board reviewing has case had not been disclosed to him.
Held: . .
CitedDudson, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 28-Jul-2005
The defendant had committed a murder when aged 16, and after conviction sentenced to be detailed during Her Majesty’s Pleasure. His tarriff had been set at 18 years, reduced to 16 years after review.
Held: ‘What is at issue is the general . .
CitedA and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No 2) HL 8-Dec-2005
The applicants had been detained following the issue of certificates issued by the respondent that they posed a terrorist threat. They challenged the decisions of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission saying that evidence underlying the . .
CitedBlack, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice HL 21-Jan-2009
The appellant complained that the system for considering the release of a life prisoner did not comply with the Convention when the decision was made by the Secretary of State and not by the Parole Board, or the court. The Board had recommended his . .
CitedWhiston, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice CA 25-Oct-2012
The claimant was a prisoner released on a home detention licence, but his licence had been revoked. He now said that the way it had been revoked, without the respondent’s decision being subject to confirmation by the Parole Board, nor to other . .
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 . .
CitedBank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury (No 2) SC 19-Jun-2013
The bank challenged measures taken by HM Treasury to restrict access to the United Kingdom’s financial markets by a major Iranian commercial bank, Bank Mellat, on the account of its alleged connection with Iran’s nuclear weapons and ballistic . .
CitedOsborn v The Parole Board Admn 19-Mar-2010
The claimants complained that decisions had been made by the respondents without them having been first given a right to an oral hearing. They now sought permission to bring judicial review.
Held: Permission was refused. The facts in the . .
CitedOsborn and Another v The Parole Board CA 15-Dec-2010
The three claimants complained that the respondent had made decisions adverse to them as to their release to or recall from parole.
Held: Review was refused. While there was ‘some force in the submission that, contrary to the understanding of . .
CitedOsborn v The Parole Board SC 9-Oct-2013
Three prisoners raised questions as to the circumstances in which the Parole Board is required to hold an oral hearing before making an adverse decision. One of the appeals (Osborn) concerned a determinate sentence prisoner who was released on . .
CitedRobinson, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice CA 19-May-2010
The appellant had been released on licence during his sentence but then recalled. He contended that the effect of the newly introduced section 50A was a retrospective increase in his sentencce. . .
CitedWhiston, Regina (on The Application of) SC 2-Jul-2014
The claimant, having been released from prison on licence, objected to the procedure whereby his licence was revoked with no means for him to challenge that decision.
Held: The appeal was dismissed. Article 5(4) did not apply to the particular . .
CitedYoungsam, Regina (on The Application of) v The Parole Board Admn 7-Apr-2017
The claimant challenged being recalled to prison from licence after being found in an area from which he was excluded as a condition of his parole. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Prisons, Human Rights

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.222082