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The Court of Appeal has dismissed the claims of two prisoners in long-term sexual relationships with other male prisoners that their Article 8 ECHR rights had been breached in the absence of clear policy guidance as to the circumstances in which gay partnerships in prisons should be facilitated. 

The Court of Appeal found that Article 8 did not require in this context that there be detailed provisions defining precisely what measures may be taken interfering with an individual’s article 8(1) rights, noting that relationships between serving prisoners are often complex and difficult to assess, and that it was unrealistic and not required by the Strasbourg jurisprudence to expect the Secretary of State to provide a list of examples of behaviour that was regarded as indecent or otherwise unacceptable. 
Kate Gallafent QC appeared on behalf of the Secretary of State.