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Jeremy Aldermartin
Jeremy Aldermartin, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8375
Experience:  Dual qualified Solicitor and Attorney
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If a prisoner assaulted a prison guard and his case was

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if a prisoner assaulted a prison guard and his case was referred to his prison’s disciplinary board. The board found the charges were proved and added three months to his minimum sentence. The board allowed him to speak at his hearing, but did not permit him to know the identity of witnesses, including guards and other prisoners, who had made statements about the incident on condition of anonymity. Nor did the board permit him to call his own witnesses or to be represented by a solicitor. what advice can you give as to grounds of judicial reviews?

Hi thank you for your message, please note that I will look to provide an accurate but nevertheless speedy reply to your inquiry. I am sorry to hear about your situation but I will endeavour to help you today.

Judicial Review (JR) is a method of challenging decisions made by a public body in the High Court, whereby the Court is requested to review whether the action or decision of a public body is lawful. It is not an appeal on the merits of a decision, but a review of the decision making process itself.

The grounds generally applicable for a JR to be commenced are as cited by Lord Diplock, when detailing the categories of error of law that allow the court to intervene by way of JR. The first ground is ‘Illegality’ which is where a decision is taken that is beyond the powers available to that body, such decision being said to be ‘ultra vires’.

The second primary ground is ‘Procedural Impropriety’ or ‘Fairness’, which is a procedural failing in the process of coming to the relevant decision, such as a failure to comply with the procedural requirements of the Prison Rules. It can also include failing to adhere to the rules of natural justice.

Intertwined with the above principles are the ‘rule against bias’ and the ‘right to a fair hearing’.

With regard to the right to a fair hearing, all very much depends on circumstance. Of course, under the Human Rights Act 1998, there is also the need for domestic decisions to comply with the European Convention of Human Rights. In the context of prison law, such matters can include the receipt of sufficient information and the granting of sufficient time to prepare a case, though what is deemed ‘sufficient’ does depend greatly on the nature of the matter in question. Other such issues include the right to cross-examine a witness, the right to make representations and the right to a prompt resolution of a matter. I would suggest you rely on these grounds.

I trust this assists you in understanding your position however, should you have any supplementary inquiries, do not hesitate to ask and I will look to clarify or expand on my previous response.

I thank you for visiting the website and for the opportunity to assist you with your inquiry. If you have further questions, inquiries or queries let me know post haste and I will attempt to answer them. Otherwise I bid you a good day

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