Avalanche! Daily Mail on new year dishonour list for dodgy prisoner human rights article

31 December 2012 by

Daily Mail 31.12.12Despite the Leveson Report, the Daily Mail’s brief flirtation with the Human Rights Act has not even lasted a month. This article by Home Affairs Correspondent Jack Doyle (Twitter: @jackwdoyle) is a weird one, even by the Mail’s standards. Here is the headline:

£500,000 a week in legal aid for prisoners’ human rights claims: YOU pay for them to seek easier life or early release

Clear, right? We are apparently spending £26m per year on prisoners’ human rights claims. And here is the first line:

Taxpayers are handing nearly £500,000 a week in legal aid to prisoners to help them make human rights claims.

That’s sounds like a lot of money to spend on prisoners’ human rights claims! But wait, there’s more…

The basis of the article is a freedom of information request about the amount of legal aid provided to prisoners in each of the last four years. In the last four years “convicts have been given more than £93million to help them demand early release from jail, compensation or softer treatment behind bars.” So maybe not all for human rights claims? Let’s read further:

A breakdown of the costs shows ‘free-standing advice and assistance’ for inmates cost nearly £53.6million over four years. Assistance at disciplinary hearings cost more than £12.6million and lawyers at Parole Board hearings cost more than £27million.

So, of the total £ 93,482,475 (which as the article says, is £449,435, not £500,000 per week), £39.6m (42% of the total) is spent on assistance at disciplinary and Parole Board hearings. Which is £188,762 of the £449,435 per week.

What of the remaining £260,673? That is for ‘free standing advice and assistance’. That could mean many things, including issues involving human rights. But it doesn’t mean human rights. It seems that the figures obtained by the Daily Mail don’t actually specify what proportion of the prisoners’ legal aid is spent on human rights claims.

So does that support the headline “£500,000 a week in legal aid for prisoners’ human rights claims“? Not even close. Maybe too much is being spent on prisoners’ human rights claims. Maybe not. This article has taken us precisely no further in answering that question.

Jack Doyle and the Daily Mail, on to the new year’s dishonours list and on the legal naughty step too for misrepresenting the figures and, again, blaming human rights law for something it hasn’t done. Or, as John Stewart might say, for causing an avalanche on a bulls$%t mountain.

Sign up to free human rights updates by email, Facebook, Twitter or RSS

Read more:

9 comments


  1. […] read the UKHRB write-up. Did you guess rightly […]

  2. Andrew says:

    There is loathsome rubbish in the Daily Hate Mail. And ursines do something smelly where there are lots of trees around.

  3. ObiterJ says:

    A risible article in the DM. Continue to tell the truth in 2013 as in the last few years. Here’s wishing everyone at 1COR / UKHRB a really happy New Year 2013.

  4. The Daily Mail is an x files case in itself. The truth is out there.

    1. Adam Wagner says:

      The truth was actually in the article!

      1. In fairness to Jack Doyle then, it may not be his fault. The headlines are usually written by others.

        1. Adam Wagner says:

          I would agree but this line is in the text of the article:

          Taxpayers are handing nearly £500,000 a week in legal aid to prisoners to help them make human rights claims.

    2. Andrew says:

      Yes, but when it comes to the DM, the truth is not in there!

      It has good Sudokus – there you are, it has its uses. But the best use for that paper is one to which I will not put it as long as I can afford the purpose-made product from Tescos which comes in several pastel colours with a cardboard tube in the middle.

  5. Milton Firman says:

    Each newspaper has its own agenda. To expect truth and transparency from the press or from politicians is to delude ourselves. What we need to aspire to is our own truth and transparency in the administration of justice – where many lessons similarly need to be learned.

Comments are closed.

Welcome to the UKHRB


This blog is run by 1 Crown Office Row barristers' chambers. Subscribe for free updates here. The blog's editorial team is:
Commissioning Editor: Jonathan Metzer
Editorial Team: Rosalind English
Angus McCullough QC David Hart QC
Martin Downs
Jim Duffy

Free email updates


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog for free and receive weekly notifications of new posts by email.

Subscribe

Categories


Tags


Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption AI air pollution air travel ALBA Allergy Al Qaeda Amnesty International animal rights Animals anonymity Article 1 Protocol 1 Article 2 article 3 Article 4 article 5 Article 6 Article 8 Article 9 article 10 Article 11 article 13 Article 14 article 263 TFEU Artificial Intelligence Asbestos Assange assisted suicide asylum asylum seekers Australia autism badgers benefits Bill of Rights biotechnology blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery British Waterways Board Catholic Church Catholicism Chagos Islanders Charter of Fundamental Rights child protection Children children's rights China christianity citizenship civil liberties campaigners civil partnerships climate change clinical negligence closed material procedure Coercion Commission on a Bill of Rights common law communications competition confidentiality consent conservation constitution contact order contact tracing contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus costs costs budgets Court of Protection crime criminal law Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty defamation DEFRA deportation deprivation of liberty derogations Detention Dignitas diplomacy disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA domestic violence duty of care ECHR ECtHR Education election Employment Environment Equality Act Equality Act 2010 Ethiopia EU EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU costs EU law European Convention on Human Rights European Court of Human Rights European Court of Justice evidence extradition extraordinary rendition Facebook Family Fatal Accidents Fertility FGM Finance foreign criminals foreign office foreign policy France freedom of assembly Freedom of Expression freedom of information freedom of speech Gay marriage gay rights Gaza Gender genetics Germany Google Grenfell Gun Control Health HIV home office Housing HRLA human rights Human Rights Act human rights news Human Rights Watch Huntington's Disease immigration India Indonesia injunction Inquests insurance international law internet inuit Iran Iraq Ireland islam Israel Italy IVF ivory ban Japan joint enterprise judaism judicial review Judicial Review reform Julian Assange jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Bill Law Pod UK legal aid legal aid cuts Leveson Inquiry lgbtq liability Libel Liberty Libya lisbon treaty Lithuania local authorities marriage Media and Censorship mental capacity Mental Capacity Act Mental Health military Ministry of Justice modern slavery morocco murder music Muslim nationality national security naturism neuroscience NHS Northern Ireland nuclear challenges Obituary parental rights parliamentary expenses scandal patents Pensions Personal Injury physician assisted death Piracy Plagiarism planning planning system Poland Police Politics Pope press prison Prisoners prisoner votes Prisons privacy Professional Discipline Property proportionality Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest Public/Private public access public authorities public inquiries quarantine Radicalisation rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion RightsInfo right to die right to family life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania Round Up Royals Russia saudi arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice Secret trials sexual offence Sikhism Smoking social media social workers South Africa Spain special advocates Sports Standing starvation statelessness stem cells stop and search Strasbourg super injunctions Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance Syria Tax technology Terrorism tort Torture travel treason treaty accession trial by jury TTIP Turkey Twitter UK Ukraine universal jurisdiction unlawful detention USA US Supreme Court vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wildlife wind farms WomenInLaw Worboys wrongful birth YearInReview Zimbabwe

Disclaimer


This blog is maintained for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a source of legal advice and must not be relied upon as such. Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of their individual authors, not of chambers as a whole.

Our privacy policy can be found on our ‘subscribe’ page or by clicking here.

%d bloggers like this: