Judicial review as a remedy in prison law

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Judicial review as a remedy in prison law
  • Judicial review of decisions affecting prisoners
  • Identifying the defendant
  • Grounds for judicial review
  • Illegality
  • Irrationality
  • Procedural Impropriety
  • Compatibility with the Human Rights Act 1998
  • Judicial review of decisions of Secretary of State relating to prisoners

Judicial review as a remedy in prison law

Judicial review of decisions affecting prisoners

The decisions of a public authority including prisons, Parole Board and Government departments, can be challenged by way of judicial review. Decisions which can be reviewed are those which affect an individual or a group such as categorisation decisions. The power to review has been extended to policies of general application, reports and recommendations.

The Government conducted a consultation in the first half of 2018, which, among other changes to Parole Board decision making, proposes the introduction of a new mechanism to force the Parole Board to reconsider a decision, which would ensure that victims do not have to resort to judicial review to make the Parole Board look at a case again. See: Reconsideration of Parole Board decisions: Creating a new and open system. The outcome of this review as awaited.

‘Community Legal Service Funding’ (legal aid) is available for judicial review actions to those people who satisfy the criteria. There is a two-part test to determine qualification: a test of the merits of the case, and a means test. Only solicitors who have a contract with the Legal Services Commission can do publicly funded work.

Judicial review should only be sought where there is no other remedy. There are no alternative remedies available in respect of decisions made by the Secretary

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