Published 15th September 2023

Prison open conditions decision unlawful

The High Court has ruled that the Secretary of State’s decision not to move a prisoner to open conditions was unlawful.

The challenge was brought to a decision made under Dominic Raab’s much criticised open conditions policy which had introduced a “public policy” test into these decisions.

That test was dropped and the policy changed on the morning this case was heard. The judge found the decision on this case was unlawful as it had been made without taking into account critical oral evidence heard by the Parole Board. He noted that it was hard to understand what the public confidence test had added to the risk assessment process and commented that: “It is entirely unsurprising that this policy criterion has now been withdrawn. It adds nothing.”

The prisoner in this case was represented by Simon Creighton and Nick Armstrong KC of Matrix Chamber.

Read the judgment here.


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