Page last updated at 13:58 GMT, Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:58 UK

Grayling 'disappointed' by prisoner human rights ruling

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has said he is "very disappointed" by a recent court ruling that jailing offenders indefinitely without proper access to rehabilitation courses was a breach of their human rights.

At justice questions on 18 September 2012, the first since Mr Grayling's appointment as justice secretary, he said the European Court of Human Rights had shown that its "focus is wrong".

Under an indeterminate Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence, offenders serve a minimum jail term set by a judge, after which they may apply to the Parole Board for release. Last year the government announced that IPPs would be scrapped.

The court ruled that offenders' right to liberty had been breached because "a lack of resources" meant that not all current prisoners serving IPP sentences could get on the courses, which are used to establish whether they might still present a risk to the public.

The ruling had been "very much about the issue of rehabilitation, something I feel very strongly about, something that needs to be clear and present within prisons as well as after prisons", Mr Grayling told MPs.

"However, I'm very disappointed by the ECHR decision this morning. I have to say it is not an area where I welcome the court seeking to make rulings. It is something we intend to appeal."

Story Tools

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific