The first appellant claimed that the respondent had breached ECHR, arts 5(1) & 14 as a result of the delay in his transfer to open prison conditions. The second appellant claimed that the respondent had breached ECHR, art 5(1) due to his prolonged detention as a result of the respondent’s delay in providing him with a suitable course that would afford him an opportunity to reduce the risk of reoffending. Both cases were dismissed by the lower courts as bound by House of Lords precedent, although the ECtHR had held that the House of Lords had been wrong. The issues were whether permission should be granted to appeal to the Supreme Court, whether the arguments should be reviewed and views expressed about them and whether the judge had been correct to dismiss the common law claim.
Held: an important area of law was in an unsatisfactory state, a problem which could only be resolved by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court should resolve the conflict between domestic jurisprudence and the ECtHR. With relation to the common law claim the fact that the appellant suffered some delays did not mean that the system was not a reasonable one therefore the judge was right to dismiss the claim.
Hugh Southey QC was involved in this case.