Prisoner Compensation

We were instructed by Mr S in August 2010. He had been given a mandatory life sentence in 2002 following an armed robbery and then released from prison on Parole. When he had become eligible for parole and successfully completed the various programmes put in place to address his offending, to rehabilitate him and assess his suitability. The parole board ordered reports to be prepared so that his application for parole could be heard in March 2009. The reports advised overwhelmingly that Mr S should be released. The Parole Board however did not sit to assess the application until April 2010 a delay of some 13 months. The main reason appeared to be the lack of staff and judges to deal with the many hearings the Parole Board has to hear each year. Mr S was released from prison shortly after the hearing and sought our assistance and advice over the long delay. We had to act quickly because the most effective means of enforcing his rights were under the European Convention on Human Rights. This Act limits the length of time we could bring an action to one Year from the date of the decision to release Mr S. Article 5(4) of the European Convention on Human rights decrees that "...everyone who is deprived of his liberty ...shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily...." The 13 month delay was in our opinion an unreasonable delay and thus amounted to a Breach of Article 5(4). We notified the parole Board of our intention to commence court proceedings to recover compensation. In line with the case of Faulkner in 2011 this might amount to as much as £1,000 per month. The parole Board immediately admitted the Breach and offered compensation. The need to commence court proceedings was avoided and our client received a cheque in settlement of his claim.