The Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.246A, which limited the eligibility of prisoners serving extended determinate sentences to consideration of parole at the two-third stage of the custodial element of their sentence, was compatible with ECHR art.14 taken in conjunction with art.5. Although the different treatment of such prisoners when compared to those serving indeterminate or other determinate sentences constituted a ground within the meaning of “other status” in art.14, the situations were not analogous and, even if they were, there was an objective justification for the difference in treatment.
PENOLOGY AND CRIMINOLOGY
The court continued an interim injunction restraining a trade union from inducing or instructing prison officers to take industrial action at a prison.
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.
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.