Pete Weatherby QC in landmark Supreme Court judgment on prisoners' right to rehabilitation

Thursday 11 December 2014

The Supreme Court held in R (Haney, Kaiyam, Massey and Robinson) v Secretary of State for Justice [2014] UKSC 66 (10 December 2014) that all indeterminate sentence prisoners must be given a reasonable opportunity to reform themselves and demonstrate their safety for release, under Article 5 of the ECHR. Individual prisoners will now have the right to apply to the Courts for mandatory orders and damages awards will also be available.

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The Supreme Court held in R (Haney, Kaiyam, Massey and Robinson) v Secretary of State for Justice [2014] UKSC 66 (10 December 2014) that all indeterminate sentence prisoners must be given a reasonable opportunity to reform themselves and demonstrate their safety for release, under Article 5 of the ECHR. Individual prisoners will now have the right to apply to the Courts for mandatory orders and damages awards will also be available.

The Supreme Court has departed from the decision of the House of Lords in R (James, Lee and Wells) v Secretary of State for Justice [2010] 1 AC 553 and instead adopted the conclusion of the European Court of Human Rights in James v United Kingdom (2013) 56 EHRR 12. The Supreme Court Justices concluded that the Court “should now accept the [European Court’s] conclusion, that the purpose of the sentence includes rehabilitation”. The Supreme Court was clear that the State’s obligation to provide a reasonable opportunity for rehabilitation exists throughout the prisoner’s detention and arises pre-tariff.

See the full article prepared by Vijay Jagadesham and Pete Weatherby QC analysing the judgment.

Pete Weatherby QC and Vijay Jagadesham represented the Appellant, Faisal Kaiyam.

Pete Weatherby QC represented the prisoner, James, in the previous litigation that culminated in the European Court of Human Right’s decision in James, Lee and Wells v United Kingdom (2013) 56 EHRR 12.

Download a full copy of the Supreme Court judgment.

The solicitors instructed are Carl Miles of Burton Copeland LLP.

Pete Weatherby QC is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Prison Law Team. He is also a member of Garden Court North Chambers. Vijay Jagadesham is a member of Garden Court North Chambers.

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