A commitment to human rights and fair treatment for our clients is at the heart of what we do. We believe that human rights are for everybody and are one of the hallmarks of a civilised society. We have adopted the universal symbol for human rights within our logo to reflect this.
We represent people who need to protect their human rights. We help people to understand their human rights and what they can do to exercise them within the law. We help those who want to seek redress for violations of their human rights.
Human rights are not always straightforward. Sometimes they conflict with other rights or the rights of others. Sometimes they can be qualified in certain ways. The interference with rights sometimes needs to meet a high threshold to be regarded as unlawful.
There are several ways in which prisoners’ human rights can be infringed.
The most common of these are:
The Right to Life (Article 2)
In extreme cases this can be breached by failures by prisons to take reasonable steps to protect prisoners from suicide or very serious harm.
The Prohibition of Torture, Degrading or Inhuman Treatment or Punishment (Article 3)
This can include unlawful and unjustified handcuffing (for example of seriously ill or disabled prisoners) or failures to provide essential medical treatment.
The Right to Liberty (including the right to have the lawfulness of detention decided speedily by a Court) (Article 5)
This can include unlawful detention (where the prison had no authority to detain) or unreasonable delay to a parole hearing.
The Right to Respect for Private and Family Life (Article 8)
Imprisonment by its very nature curtails the rights of prisoners to respect for their private and family lives. The interference with Article 8 rights must be lawful and proportionate. These are terms which are not clearly defined and can vary according to the situation. Unreasonable refusals to allow visits, contact with or correspondence with family members may breach Article 8 rights. If you feel that a prison regime or licence conditions place unnecessary restrictions on your privacy or family life, then we may be able to help.
Please contact us if you need advice about your human rights or you wish to take action to protect them.
There are some circumstances in which Legal Aid is available. If Legal Aid is not available, we will discuss with you the availability of other funding arrangements such as fixed fees, conditional fee agreements or damages-based agreements.