Secretary of State for Justice v James: HL 6 May 2009

The applicant had been sentenced to an indefinite term for public protection, but the determinate part of his sentence had passed with no consideration as to whether his continued detention was required.
Held: The post tariff detention was not unlawful and therefore no action for damages lay. The clear failures of the respondent to implement an appropriate system to provide a review did not undermine the lawfulness of the detention itself. The absence of material to enable the Parole Board to form a view as to the safety of the appellants’ release did not make their detention unlawful.
Lord Carswell described the powers taken under the 2003 Act as Draconian, and chaos was caused ‘when for some unfathomable reason it was decided that the new scheme would be resource-neutral and so sufficient facilities necessary for IPP prisoners to demonstrate their fitness for release were not made available’.

Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Lord Mance, Lord Judge
[2009] UKHL 22, Times 08-May-2009, [2009] HRLR 23, [2009] 2 WLR 1149, [2010] 1 AC 553
European Convention on Human Rights 5(1) 5(4), Criminal Justice Act 2003 225
England and Wales
At Divisional CourtWells v The Parole Board and Another; Regina (Walker) v Secretary of State for the Home Department QBD 31-Jul-2007
The prisoners challenged their continued detention. They had been sentenced and had served their tariff terms but had been continued to be detained for public protection, but with no current or effective assessment of what risk was posed.
CitedRegina v Oldham Justices ex parte Crawley (orse Cawley) 1996
The court set out the duties of magistrates when making a warrant for committal. Simon Brown LJ said that where there has been a criminal conviction the courts have firmly excluded collateral attack by habeas corpus, holding that the only proper . .
Appeal fromSecretary of State for Justice v Walker; Same v James CA 1-Feb-2008
The claimant had been sentenced to a short period of imprisonment but with an indeterminate term until he demonstrated that it was no longer necessary for the protection of the public. He complained that the term having expired, no opportunity had . .

Cited by:
CitedGill, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice Admn 26-Feb-2010
Failure to provide programme discriminated
The claimant prisoner who had a learning disability said that he had been unable to complete the offending behaviour programmes because of his disability, that he had been kept in prison for much longer than he should have been as a consequence, and . .
CitedFaulkner, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice and Another SC 1-May-2013
The applicants had each been given a life sentence, but having served the minimum term had been due to have the continued detention reviewed to establish whether or not continued detention was necessary for the protection of the pblic. It had not . .
CitedSturnham, Regina (on The Application of) v The Parole Board of England and Wales and Another (No 2) SC 3-Jul-2013
From 4 April 2005 until 3 December 2012, English law provided for the imposition of sentences of imprisonment for public protection (‘IPP’). The Court addressed the practical and legal issues resulting from the new system.
Held: The decision . .
CitedRaissi v Secretary of State for Justice CA 31-Mar-2010
The claimant had been arrested and held on suspicion of terrorist offences. An application for his extradition to the US was refused, and the charges were dropped after the Court said that no evidence at all had been produced, and ‘there is a . .
At HL (wrongly decided)James, Wells and Lee v The United Kingdom ECHR 18-Sep-2012
ECHR Article 5-1
Deprivation of liberty
Failure to provide the rehabilitative courses to prisoners which were necessary for their release: violation
Facts – By virtue of section 225 of the . .
CitedMartin Corey, Re for Judicial Review SC 4-Dec-2013
The appellant challenged his recall to prison from licence. He had been convicted in 1973 of the murder of two police officers. He had remained at liberty for 18 years, befire his licence was revoked on the basis of confidential iintelligence . .
AppliedRobinson, Regina (on The Application of) v HMP Whatton and Another Admn 4-Dec-2013
Two prisoners serving sentences of imprisonment for public protection sought judicial review of arrangements meaning that they had not been given a timely opportunity to demonstrate to the Parole Board that they are safe to be released. Their . .
CitedHaney and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Justice SC 10-Dec-2014
The four claimants, each serving indeterminate prison sentences, said that as they approached the times when thy might apply for parol, they had been given insufficient support and training to meet the requirements for release. The courts below had . .
CitedKaiyam, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Justice CA 9-Dec-2013
The court was asked as to claims arising from the continued detention of the appellants following the expiry of the ‘minimum terms’ or ‘tariff periods’ of their indeterminate terms of imprisonment. The appellant prisoners said that the respondent’s . .
CitedDocherty, Regina v SC 14-Dec-2016
After conviction on his own admission for wounding with intent, and with a finding that he posed a threat to the public, the defendant was sentenced to imprisonment for public protection. Such sentences were abolished with effect from the day after . .
CitedBrown v The Parole Board for Scotland, The Scottish Ministers and Another SC 1-Nov-2017
The court was asked whether the duty under article 5 to provide prisoners with a real opportunity for rehabilitation applied to prisoners serving extended sentences. The prisoner was subject to an extended sentence, but had been released on licence . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Criminal Sentencing, Prisons

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.341817