The Court of Appeal in MR (Pakistan) and Anotherv Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 541 recently dealt with appeals regarding the absence of a process to assess the vulnerability of a person detained under immigration powers at Her Majesty’s Prisons (“HMPs”). This absence remains despite such a process existing for those detained under the same immigration powers in Immigration Removal Centres (“IRCs”) by virtue of Rules 34 and 35 of the Detention Centre Rules. These provisions enable a medical report to be prepared which is then considered by the SSHD when deciding on the management of the individual under relevant policy guidance.
The Court upheld the claim in part, holding that whilst this discrepancy did not give rise to systemic unfairness, in the individual two cases there was an irrational failure to obtain a Rule 35 report or equivalent. Despite this, however, it was held that these failures were not relevant to the decisions to detain the individuals in the particular cases.
The High Court recently dismissed a claim of incompatibility with Article 5 ECHR arising from a detention of a minor for his own protection in the case of Archer v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis EWHC 1567 (QB).
On 17 February 2012, the Claimant, then 15 years’ old, was struck on the head and stabbed in his back and head by persons he described as members of a local gang, the Deptford Boys. This took place near to his home. He was treated at King’s College Hospital.
But on 22 February 2012, he was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and possession of an offensive weapon. He was placed in a cell at 7:25am, and by 7:45pm he was charged with those two offences. He was, however, refused bail at 7:53pm. The reasons for refusal by Sergeant Smith are recorded as follows:
[…] it is believed necessary to further detain the person for their own protection, that the detained person has been arrested for a non-imprisonable offence and it is believed necessary to further detain to prevent physical injury to another person, that the detained person has been arrested for an imprisonable offence and it is believed necessary to further detain in order to prevent the commission of a further offence.
The grounds are Dp [sc. detained person] has been involved in a ‘gang’ related fight where he has sustained injuries that required hospital treatment. It is feared that if released on bail there will be repercussions where he may sustain further injuries or inflict violence upon his original intended victims.
On the morning of 23 February, he was taken to Bexley Youth Court, where he was remanded in custody.
It is this period of 13 hours from the refusal of bail to the remand by Court that the Claimant sought to argue was unlawful.
The Divisional Court has recently handed down a novel decision in R (FNM) v DPP, considering the right of complainants to a fair opportunity to make representations to the Director for Public Prosecutions (“DPP”), and for those representations to be considered, when conducting a review under the Victims’ Right to Review Scheme (“the VRR Scheme”).
The Court held that in circumstances where the DPP had not waited to give the complaint an opportunity to make representations as to whether there should be a criminal prosecution, the decision not to prosecute was materially flawed.
Lady Hale has thrown her wig into the debate on whether the law, represented by the courts, is gaining power while politics in Parliament is losing it. She is not the first to critique Lord Sumption’s Reith Lectures, as they were covered at ALBA’s Annual Conference too (see Law Pod UK episodes 88, 89, and 91).
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.