Many lawyers expect the Prison Service to be hit by a flurry of actions under the Human Rights Act.
The Prison Reform Trust says that it expects to see Article Two (Right to Life) challenges because public bodies have a positive obligation to do all possible to prevent deaths. This may include challenging methods of restraint, healthcare (availability of condoms) and allegedly inadequate training to deal with suicidal inmates.
The European Court of Human Rights recently rejected a case where a prisoner alleged that four months of segregation amounted to inhuman or degrading treatment. The judges said that prison treatment must “attain a high level of severity” to fall foul of the law.