Government Widens Legal Aid Scope For Prison Law

Legal aid will be restored for three areas of prison law following a Court of Appeal judgment, the government has confirmed. In Howard League for Penal Reform and the Prisoners’ Advice Service v the Lord Chancellorthe court ruled that the high threshold required for a finding of inherent or systemic unfairness was satisfied in the case of pre-tariff reviews by the parole board, category A reviews (those whose escape would be highly dangerous), and decisions regarding placement in close supervision centres. The threshold was not satisfied in relation to decisions about offending behaviour programmes and courses, and disciplinary proceedings where no additional days of imprisonment or detention can be awarded. This week Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, a prison charity, posted a letter on Twitter from the Ministry of Justice confirming that an amending statutory instrument has been laid before parliament, extending criminal legal aid to the three areas where the court ruled against the government.

Read more: Law Gazette,

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