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Bhatt Murphy Solicitors

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Hamish Arnott

Hamish Arnott specialises in public law and human rights with a particular focus on the civil liberties of prisoners and those detained under immigration laws.

Notable cases in recent years include:

R (HA (Nigeria) v SSHD [2012] EWHC 979 (Admin) - the High Court found that the Home Secretary acted unlawfully in making changes to the Home Office policy for detaining those with mental illness in immigration detention. In a judicial review brought by a detainee with paranoid schizophrenia, Mr Justice Singh QC ruled that the changes were unlawful as they failed to have due regard to equality duties owed by the Home Secretary under discrimination legislation.

R (Garland) v Secretary of State for Justice and another [2011] EWCA Civ 1335 on the charging requirements in the prison disciplinary system.

Malcolm v Ministry of Justice [2011] EWCA 1538 Civ – on the application of article 8 of the ECHR to regimes in segregation units.

Malcolm v Ministry of Justice [2010] EWHC 3389 (QB) – a claim arising from a failure by a prison to allow a segregated prisoner a full hour in the open air each day, in breach of policy.

R (AA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWHC 2265 (Admin) – which examined the lawfulness of detention under the Immigration Act of those suffering from mental illness.

R (A) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWHC 808 (Admin) – a challenge to the lawfulness of long term detention of a Somali national under the Immigration Act following completion of a criminal sentence.

R (O’Connell) v Parole Board – [2009] EWCA Civ 867 – which held that Article 5 of the ECHR does not apply to the initial release of extended sentence prisoners.

R (Smith) v Secretary of State for Justice [2009] EWHC 109 (Admin) – which confirmed that prison disciplinary charges laid against life sentenced prisoners can engage Article 6 of the ECHR by reference to seriousness alone, without consideration of the potential penalty.

R (H) v Secretary of State for Justice [2008] EWHC 2590 (Admin) – on the rights of category A prisoners to an oral hearing to consider their security status.

R (MT) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] EWHC 1788 (Admin), and HK (Turkey) v SSHD [2007] EWCA Civ 1357 – which considered the lawfulness of decisions to detain asylum seekers with a history of torture in order to fast-track their asylum claims.

R (Brooke, O’Connell and another) v Parole Board [2008] EWCA Civ 29 – which found that the Parole Board’s relationship with the Ministry of Justice breached the requirement for it to be independent.

R (O’Connell) v Parole Board – [2007] EWHC 2591 (Admin) – which held that Article 5 of the ECHR applied to the release of extended sentence prisoners.

R (Banfield) v SSJ [2007] EWHC 2605 (Admin) - on the lawfulness of the Secretary of State rejecting Parole Board recommendations that life sentence prisoners be transferred to an open prison.

R (Emirsoylu) v Parole Board [2007] EWHC 2007 (Admin) – on the Parole Board’s duty to obtain further evidence on risk in light of its findings of fact.

R (D and K) v SSHD [2006] EWHC 980 (Admin) – which strongly criticised the Home Office’s failure to ensure that immigration detainees were medically examined on arrival at detention centres to ensure that torture victims were not wrongfully detained.

R (M) v SSHD [2006] EWHC 228 (Admin) – on the lawfulness of the re-detention of immigration detainees following a grant of bail by an immigration judge.

R (H) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2005] EWHC (Admin) - which was a successful challenge to the legality of lengthy detention under the Immigration Act following the completion of a criminal sentence.

Smith and West v Parole Board [2005] UKHL 1, where the House of Lords confirmed that the recall of prisoners serving fixed-term sentences engaged Article 5(4) ECHR and would normally require an oral hearing before the Parole Board.

Sim v Parole Board [2004] QB 1288 in which the Court of Appeal clarified the test for release of those serving extended sentences recalled to custody and confirmed that there was a presumption of liberty in such cases, and also considered the extent to which hearsay evidence is admissible before the Board.

He co-authors with Simon Creighton and Nancy Collins the six-monthly updates on prison law for Legal Action, and also Prisoners Law and Practice (LAG 2009). He co-authored Parole Board Hearings: Law and Practice (LAG 2nd Edition 2009), the first book dedicated to parole proceedings. He has also contributed to Foreign National Prisoners: Law and Practice (LAG 2012). Hamish trains extensively in areas related to his practice.

He qualified as a solicitor in October 1993, having trained with Wilson and Co in London, where he worked as an assistant solicitor until 1997. He subsequently worked at the Public Law Project and the Prisoners’ Advice Service. He joined Bhatt Murphy in 2001. In 2006 he was awarded the Higher Courts (Civil Proceedings) Qualification.
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