The court gave guidance on the approach to be adopted in cases of judicial review of the Victims’ Right to Review Scheme.
The right in the Criminal Justice Act 1988 s.133 to compensation for a miscarriage of justice was not applicable to every person whose conviction had been found unsafe on the basis of newly discovered facts outside the normal time limit for appeal. It was only where the newly discovered facts established that the claimant would not, or could not, have been lawfully prosecuted.
The secretary of state’s “absconder policy”, which excluded from transfer to open conditions any prisoner with a history of absconding, escaping, or serious failure relating to release on temporary licence was inconsistent with his directions to the parole board issued under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Pt 12 s.239(6) and set out in Prison Service Instruction 36/2012 Annex D. While the directions remained in force, the absconder policy was unlawful.
The consultation process into changes in the provision of criminal legal aid services had been procedurally flawed. The Lord Chancellor’s failure to consult upon the content of two reports which had determined the number of contracts to be offered to law firms had been so unfair as to result in illegality.
When assessing whether the disclosure by the police in an enhanced criminal records certificate of allegations made against a nurse of neglect and ill-treatment was unlawful and in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.8, a judge had been wrong to take account of fresh material that had not been available when the certificate was compiled because that sidelined the decision-maker and truncated regulatory process. She should have remitted the case or encouraged the individual to submit a fresh application for a new certificate.