The Prison Law team exists to cover the ‘end users’ in the criminal justice system – those serving a prison sentence. Whilst Prison Law is seen by many in the Criminal Justice system as an emerging area of practice, members of Chambers have been involved in such litigation for a number of years already, and are in a position to use that experience to assist litigators who lack the same familiarity.
The fact that an increasing percentage of the prison population are now serving indeterminate (IPP or life) sentences means that the proper litigation of parole hearings is of fundamental importance. Chambers Prison Law can bring to bear the combination of sentencing law, administrative law and the supervening principles of Human Rights in order to assist those who are suffering the effects of the poorly constructed “dangerousness” provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
Additionally, members of the team have substantial experience in prison disciplinary tribunals dealing with an enormous range of alleged breaches of prison rules and regulations.
As well as dealing with parole hearings and disciplinary tribunals we are able to advise on and appear in related proceedings of judicial review, coroner’s courts and inquests. Areas which can arise include healthcare, discrimination and segregation as well as the more obvious categorisation, transfer and allocation.