McVeigh’s (David) Application

JurisdictionNorthern Ireland
JudgeHorner J
Judgment Date20 December 2012
Neutral Citation[2012] NIQB 101
Date20 December 2012
CourtQueen's Bench Division (Northern Ireland)
Year2012
1
Neutral citation No: [2012] NIQB 101 Ref:
HOR8674
Judgment: approved by the Court for handing down Delivered:
20/12/12
(subject to editorial corrections)*
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE IN NORTHERN IRELAND
QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION (JUDICIAL REVIEW)
________
McVeigh’s (David) Application [2012] NIQB 101
IN THE MATTER OF APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW
BY DAVID McVEIGH
IN THE MATTER OF A REFERRAL MADE BY THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE
OF ENGLAND AND WALES TO THE PAROLE BOARD
OF ENGLAND AND WALES
________
HORNER J
Introduction
[1] The applicant challenges the decisions taken on 7 December 2010 and 18
January 2011 by the Minister of Justice of England and Wales (“the British Minister”)
not to seek advice from the Parole Board as to the applicant’s suitability for open
conditionsand the policy of the British Minister in not seeking a request for advice
from the Parole Board as to the suitability of transferred prisoners in Northern
Ireland for open conditionsin general. In essence the complaint of the applicant is
that the British Minister did not ask the Parole Board for advice as to whether the
applicant was suitable for open conditions. It is important to note that there are
no “open conditions” in Northern Ireland under the prison regime here. But there is
a power to recommend a prisoner for the Prisoner Assessment Unit (“PAU”) which
it is asserted is a broad equivalent and seems to be accepted as such. Both “open
conditions” and the “PAU” offer a stepping stone between prison and release into
the community. They give a prisoner an opportunity to demonstrate by his
behaviour in conditions similar to those existing in the community that he can apply
the lessons he has learned in “closed conditions”. Unfortunately in Northern Ireland
the “PAU” closed in April 2011. It has been replaced by a bespoke, pre-release
scheme. It has been agreed that the issue of whether or not the High Court of Justice
in Northern Ireland has jurisdiction to hear this judicial review should be

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