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The Divisional Court (Bean LJ and Carr J) has handed down judgment in this important case on reviews of the tariff to be served by those detained during Her Majesty’s pleasure, that is, those under the age of 18 at the date of the offence.

The Divisional Court (Bean LJ and Carr J) has handed down judgment in this important case on reviews of the tariff to be served by those detained during Her Majesty’s pleasure, that is, those under the age of 18 at the date of the offence.  By means of a policy statement, the Secretary of State had indicated that in all such cases, he would follow the recommendation of a High Court judge as to whether or not the detainee has made exceptional progress while detained which may justify a reduction in their tariff.  Jordan Cunliffe, one of the defendants convicted of the murder of Gary Newlove in 2007, argued that the Secretary of State’s policy was a fetter on his discretion and that he should have been permitted to make further representations to the Secretary of State on receipt of the Judge’s recommendation.  Mr Cunliffe also argued that it was unfair for the Judge to have admitted a victim personal statement from Baroness Newlove (the victim’s wife and now Victims’ Commissioner) without disclosing it to him.  The Court rejected the challenge on all grounds: the Secretary of State’s policy was lawful and, although the victim personal statement should not have been admitted, it could not have affected the outcome.

The full judgment can be read in the attached pdf.

Ivan Hare appeared for the Secretary of State. 

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