Secret Prisoners judgment comment
I am pleased with the judgment issued today from the court of appeal.
concern is to stop people being imprisoned in secret. This judgment is an
important step towards that objective. There are three key
Firstly, it recognises that a lot of people are still locked up
without proper public scrutiny.
Secondly, it adds to guidance and
reinforces guidance to stop this happening.
Thirdly, it ensures that
there is an authority that can be used to find out who has been imprisoned if
someone finds out that a secret jailing has happened.
It does not,
however, as yet accept that a secret imprisonment in itself is cause for someone
to be released. That is an issue that I will be looking at in more depth. It
is, obviously, difficult to make an application to court for the imprisonment of
someone in secret as it it is entirely secret no-one will know. Hence it is
difficult to find authorities for this situation.
The problem as I see it
is that people have been imprisoned for things that would not find public
acceptance. To that extent were those imprisonments not secret they would be
stopped. (Which, of course, is not all of the imprisonments, but some of
I would cite as an example the imprisonment of a grandmother for
posting complaints on facebook. This happened in early 2013 in I think
It remains, however, that the government do not seem concerned about this issue. They could easily establish a system to ensure that we know who has been imprisoned so we can check whether a public judgment is given. However, so far they have done very little - although they have reinstated the counting that was stopped.
However, I have managed to get 90% of what I wanted from this case and that has to be seen as a victory.