V Secretary Of State For Justice Essay

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In this essay, I am going to analyse R(Bourgass) v Secretary of State for Justice, an administrative case based on the exercise of ministerial powers by public bodies. The two issues raised in this case were (i) whether the decisions to segregate the prisoners for substantial periods were lawfully authorised and (ii) whether the procedure on segregation was considered fair under the common law. The decision for segregation were made under the Prison Act 1952, Rule 45 of the Prison Rules 1999 and PSO 1700. Rule 45(1) allows the prison governor to arrange the prisoner to be removed from association; rule 45(2) provides that the prisoner shall not be segregated under the rule for more than 72 hours “without the authority of the Secretary of State” and that authority “shall be for a period not exceeding 14 days.” This case also involves human rights, procedural fairness, ultra vires principle and the judicial review process in the United Kingdom.

Facts and Decisions In this case, Bourgass has been held in segregation for more than 72 hours ordered by a prison officer and longer than 14 days that the Secretary of State may authorise. His representative initiated judicial review proceedings. They were dismissed by the High Court. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeals, whereas the Supreme Court allowed the appeals.

Reasons for the decision: On this first issue, it was clear from Rule 45(2) that the segregation for a period exceeding 72 hours was not authorised by the

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