QBD (Admin) (Haddon-Cave LJ, Holgate J)
1 May 2020
A magistrates’ court had been entitled to make a notification order under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 s.97 where an individual had been convicted of rape overseas. Where a person had committed a serious sexual offence so as to be subject to indefinite notification requirements, the continuation of such requirements for a minimum of 15 years did not constitute a disproportionate interference with his ECHR art.8 rights, despite the regime being automatic.
CA (Crim Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Cutts J, Tipples J)
30 April 2020
A suspended sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment was unduly lenient in the case of a 47-year-old offender who had pleaded guilty to offences of sexual activity with a 15-year-old child and inciting her to engage in sexual activity. The appropriate sentence was a suspended custodial term of 24 months. When considering the suspension of a custodial sentence, prison conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic were a relevant factor and sentencing courts should take account of the fact that the impact of a custodial sentence was likely to be heavier during the emergency.
QBD (Admin) (Dove J)
3 April 2020
There were clear and demonstrable grounds to believe that an individual whose extradition had been sought by the United States for allegedly kidnapping his daughter during a custody visit and threatening and harassing his ex-partner would fail to surrender to bail. His claims that as an asthmatic the prison conditions where he was being held were inadequate in view of the corona virus pandemic were rejected. The prison service owed him a duty of care in accordance with existing guidance and he could take up those issues with the prison authorities.
SC (Lady Hale JSC, Lord Reed JSC, Lord Kerr JSC, Lord Carnwath JSC, Lord Hodge JSC, Lady Black JSC, Lord Lloyd-Jones JSC)
25 March 2020
It had not been lawful for the secretary of state to authorise mutual assistance to the United States to assist a criminal investigation which could lead to the prosecution of a suspected British terrorist for offences carrying the death penalty. Although there was no established common law principle which prohibited the sharing of information relevant to a criminal prosecution in a country which had not abolished the death penalty, the transfer did not meet the requirements for transfer of personal data to a third country as set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 s.73.
QBD (Admin) (Steyn J)
10 March 2020
There was no real risk of a requested person’s ECHR art.3 rights being breached if he was extradited to Romania where further information and assurances subsequently provided by the judicial authority had addressed the relevant issues, such as the time he would be able to spend outside his cell during a quarantine period, and there was no remaining lack of clarity.
CA (Crim Div) (Fulford LJ, Cheema-Grubb J, Foster J)
19 February 2020
When considering whether it was appropriate to impose an extended sentence on an offender who had already been recalled on licence in relation to an indeterminate sentence imposed for other offences, the fact that the offender had been recalled and the effect on the early release provisions was irrelevant. Insofar as there were conflicting Court of Appeal decisions on that point, R. v Smith (Nicholas)  UKSC 37 was to be followed.
SC (Lady Hale PSC, Lord Wilson JSC, Lord Carnwath JSC, Lord Lloyd-Jones JSC, Lord Sales JSC)
19 February 2020
The Supreme Court did not have jurisdiction to entertain appeals against a decision of the Divisional Court of Northern Ireland concerning the lawfulness of a life prisoner’s release on licence. The proceedings did not constitute a “criminal cause or matter” for the purposes of the Judicature (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 s.41(1); the proper avenue of appeal was to the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland.
CA (Civ Div) (Lord Burnett LCJ, Holroyde LJ, Nicola Davies LJ)
23 January 2020
A prison governor’s decision that a category A prisoner serving a mandatory life sentence should attend the hearing of a civil claim by video link, rather than in person, did not breach his right to a fair trial under ECHR art.6. Nor had the decision-maker unlawfully fettered her discretion in refusing the prisoner’s request to be produced physically at the hearing of his claim. However, the decision had been made on the basis of a fundamental misunderstanding of an important fact, and would have to be retaken in the light of up-to-date information.
QBD (Admin) (Clive Sheldon QC)
16 January 2020
A Parole Board had erred in its decision not to recommend the transfer of an indeterminate-sentence prisoner to open conditions. In particular, it had failed to undertake the balancing exercise between the risks and benefits of such a transfer, as required by the directions issued pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 Pt 12 s.239(6).
CA (NI) (McCloskey LJ, O'Hara J, Huddleston J)
20 December 2019
The court considered the violent offences prevention order regime under the Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 Pt 8, including the distinction between an order imposed at sentence and a free-standing order, and provided general guidance as to the relevant legal test for imposition of such an order and procedural fairness.