Visits case settled

PAS had taken on a client in a Category A prison, F, who was refused visits from his nephew, G, on the grounds that the nephew himself was an ex-prisoner with a drugs

conviction, who was on licence at that time. The relationship between F and G was a particularly close one.

PAS argued that this was a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, enshrining the right to respect for a private and family life, and that no sound or lawful reasons had been advanced by the prison regarding the denial of visits. The Prison Service Instructions themselves explicitly state that visits should not be curtailed simply because a visitor has been on custody or is on licence.

PAS applied to have the decision taken to Judicial Review on behalf of F, and permission was granted by the High Court. However, in the end the prison eventually reconsidered its decision when the nephew’s licence period ended (having been unable to provide substantive reasons for its original decision), and approved F’s nephew under the Approved Visitors Scheme.