Williams v The Secretary of State for the Home Office: CA 17 Apr 2002

The applicant was a post-tariff discretionary life prisoner, applying for a change in his security classification. He sought disclosure of his security report which was denied by the respondent. He alleged a breach of his human rights.
Held: The punitive part of the sentence was complete. The earlier panel had advised his reclassification from security risk A, but that had not been followed. He was required to demonstrate positive reasons for re-classification, but was not told what circumstances justified maintenance of his classification. The committee which considered his possible release served a different purpose to one which considered his classification. Full disclosure was ordered.
The Parole Board is concerned with assessing risk in the context of someone who is lawfully released and subject to continuing monitoring and control. Furthermore, there are incentives to behave, since in the event of non-compliance the licence is revocable.


Lord Phillips Master of the Rolls, Judge LJ


Times 01-May-2002, [2002] EWCA Civ 498, [2002] 1 WLR 2264, [2002] 4 All ER 872




European Convention on Human Rights Art 5


England and Wales


ApprovedRegina (Burgess) v Home Secretary 2000
The applicant challenged the refusal to move him to open conditions within the prison system.
Held: ‘Article 5(4) does not . . preclude the Secretary of State from taking a different view than the Discretionary Life Panel of the Parole Board . .

Cited by:

CitedLord, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 1-Sep-2003
The claimant was a category A prisoner serving a sentence of life imprisonment for murder. He sought the reasons for his categorisation as a Class A prisoner. Unhappy at the disclosure made, he sought information under the 1998 Act. It was argued . .
CitedRegina (on the Application of Cawser) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 5-Nov-2003
The claimant was serving a prison sentence for serious sexual offences. He would not be released until he had completed a sex offenders programme, but one was not made available, delaying his release.
Held: ‘The Secretary of State is not under . .
CitedRoberts, Regina (on the Application of) v The Parole Board Admn 7-Nov-2008
The prisoner was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of three police officers in 1966. He served a longer time than the recommended minimum and had been transferred to an open prison anticipating release on licence. He now complained of . .
CitedRoberts, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Home Department Admn 12-Mar-2004
The claimant complained at a decision not to reduce his Category A status to that of a category B prisoner. He continued to maintain his innocence of the murders for which he had been convicted. He was therefore ineligible to take part in . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Prisons, Human Rights

Updated: 30 June 2022; Ref: scu.170143