Regina v Secretary of State for Home Department ex parte Mellor: CA 4 Apr 2001

A prisoner had no right to facilities to artificially inseminate his wife. In this case, he might not be released for several years, and there were no medical reasons advanced for finding exceptional reasons under the Department policy. Provided the interference with the prisoner’s rights was proportionate, a refusal to provide the additional facilities which would be necessary was not an infringement of article 12, and nor was the policy unlawful or irrational.
Lord Phillips MR said: ‘Penal sanctions are imposed, in part, to exact retribution for wrongdoing. If there were no system of penal sanctions, members of the public would be likely to take the law into their own hands. In my judgment it is legitimate to have regard to public perception when considering the characteristic of a penal system.’


Lord Phillips MR, Peter Gibson LJ, Latham LJ


Gazette 01-Jun-2001, Times 01-May-2001, [2001] EWCA Civ 472, [2002] QB 13, [2001] 3 WLR 533, [2001] 2 FLR 1158, (2001) 59 BMLR 1, [2001] 2 FCR 153, [2001] HRLR 38, [2001] Fam Law 736




European Convention on Human Rights Art 12


England and Wales


CitedRegina v Secretary of State for The Home Department Ex Parte Simms HL 8-Jul-1999
Ban on Prisoners talking to Journalists unlawful
The two prisoners, serving life sentences for murder, had had their appeals rejected. They continued to protest innocence, and sought to bring their campaigns to public attention through the press, having oral interviews with journalists without . .
Appeal fromRegina and Secretary of State for Home Department v Gavin Mellor Admn 31-Jul-2000
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Cited by:

CitedNilsen, Regina (on the Application of) v Governor of HMP Full Sutton and Another Admn 19-Dec-2003
The prisoner complained that having written an autobiography, the manuscript materials had been withheld, and that this interfered with his rights of freedom of expression.
Held: Such an action by the prison authorities was not incompatible . .
CitedNilsen v HM Prison Full Sutton and Another CA 17-Nov-2004
The prisoner, a notorious murderer had begun to write his autobiography. His solicitor wished to return a part manuscript to him in prison to be finished. The prison did not allow it, and the prisoner claimed infringement of his article 10 rights. . .
CitedDickson and Another v United Kingdom ECHR 18-Apr-2006
The applicants were husband and wife who wanted infertility treatment by IVF. Mr Dickson as a prisoner, and they complained that the refusal of facilities was an interference in their right to family life as a refusal to fulfil a positive . .
CitedSmithkline Beecham Plc Glaxosmithkline UK Ltd and Another v Apotex Europe Ltd and others (No 2) CA 23-May-2006
The parties to the action had given cross undertakings to support the grant of an interim injunction. A third party subsequently applied to be joined, and now sought to take advantage of the cross undertakings to claim the losses incurred through . .
CitedBaiai and others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 30-Jul-2008
In order to prevent marriages of convenience in the UK the Secretary of State introduced a scheme under which certain persons subject to immigration control required her written permission to marry and would not receive it unless they were present . .
CitedO’Dowd (Boy George) v National Probation Service London Admn 23-Dec-2009
Refusal of curfew relaxation was reasonable
The claimant had been released from prison early on licence subject to conditions including a home detention curfew. He was offered a place on a TV programme, Celebrity Big Brother, which would require relaxation or alteration of his place of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Administrative, Family, Prisons

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.147496