Prison Service Order 4630 is declared wrong in law

Prison Service Order 4630 is declared wrong in law

"There remains the question what if anything the court should do about the erroneous statement in the second sentence of paragraph 11.1 of PSO 4630. It is clear that PSO 4630 needs to be amended. By describing the issue of an IS 91 as a statutory bar rather than a ground for refusal as a matter of policy, it has led to confusion. Mr Kovats argued that the court should not make any declaration because the error has been acknowledged and the Home Secretary intends to amend the PSO. However, the Home Secretary's representatives have been saying that for a considerable time and Mr Kovats was not able to give any indication that the Home Secretary intends to make such an amendment in the foreseeable future. It seems not to be a matter of any priority. I do not suggest that the court should automatically make a declaration of unlawfulness whenever a government policy document is found to contain an error of law. But in this case there is evidence that the error has caused mischief in the form of confusion and there are a large number of foreign prisoners who are affected. To decline to grant a declaration in these circumstances would be interpreted as a signal that the court does not regard the matter as of any real significance and a tacit condonation of the government leaving the matter on the back burner. This would not be satisfactory. I would therefore make a declaration that the relevant part of PSO 4630 is wrong in law".

THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF DIANA FRANCIS - and - SECRETARY OF STATE FOR JUSTICE
and SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT