A prisoner was given permission to seek a declaration that the period of appointment and tenure provisions for Parole Board members failed the test of objective independence. It was not acceptable for the Secretary of State for Justice to pressurise the Board’s chair to resign because he was dissatisfied with the chair’s conduct; that breached the principle of judicial independence.
PENOLOGY AND CRIMINOLOGY
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme was not unlawfully discriminatory in denying compensation to victims of human trafficking who had unspent criminal convictions which had resulted in a custodial sentence or community order. The exclusion pursued a legitimate aim and was justified.
A prison governor’s decision that a prisoner serving a mandatory life sentence should attend a court hearing by video link rather than in person did not breach ECHR art.6, and the prison had not fettered its discretion.
The court stayed an appeal against an individual’s extradition to Lithuania to face a criminal trial. There was an international consensus that conditions in Lithuanian remand prisons were such that there was real risk of prisoners’ ECHR art.3 rights being violated, and the Lithuanian authorities were given the opportunity to provide a satisfactory assurance that the requested individual would not be remanded in custody pending trial in conditions that violated art.3.
The Court of Appeal interpreted the term “persistent offender” in the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 s.117D(2)(c)(iii) concerning the deportation of foreign criminals. There was no rule that the status of “persistent offender”, once acquired, could never be lost. Further, there was no requirement, under the Immigration Rules para.398(c), to attach significant weight to the views of the secretary of state in relation to whether an individual was a persistent offender.