December 17, 2010
Today has seen the failure in the Court of Appeal of the judicial review in Chester v Justice Secretary, a case that always was hopeless.
More importantly, the government intends to give the vote to all prisoners serving less […]
November 3, 2010
I’m agnostic about whether prisoners should be allowed to vote – I can see the rehabilitation argument, up to a point, but I understand the view that disfranchisement (as the legislation puts it) is part of punishment, too. So […]
October 27, 2010
I spoke to Charon QC earlier about the issue of prisoners’ voting, following Joshua Rozenberg’s recent Guardian Law piece on the subject and the guest post on his blog by John Hirst. We give a bit of […]
August 20, 2009
It appears that the Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill is likely to announce today the release on compassionate grounds of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi. Brtitish justice ministers are obviously feeling quite compassionate this summer.
August 7, 2009
Ronald Biggs has been released, then, Jack Straw having decided he could now be released on compassionate grounds, rather than on parole, which he earlier refused. Straw's statement explains the new decision in terms of the different criteria he had to take account of in relation to the two issues. Still, my feeling is that for the law to be respected it must be inexorable: I'd have made Biggs repay every moment of his debt of time, even if (since he's in a hospital, not in prison) only symbolically.Perhaps I'm the only one who'd have applauded Jack Straw had he taken that hard line.
July 3, 2009
It’s been widely reported that Jack Straw has turned down parole for Ronald Biggs.
For the parole board to recommend his release may be humane in the individual case, but it would not be right in the broader […]
July 6, 2008
This weekend Charon interviewed John Hirst of Prison Law Inside Out about his experience of life in prison, his thoughts on the penal system and about his victory a couple of years ago in the European Court of Human […]