The decision of the House of Lords in R. (Daly) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department  2 W.L.R. 1622 provides authoritative guidance as to how human rights issues should be treated in judicial review cases. In common with a number of other recent leading cases in this area, Daly concerns prisoners’ rights. All governors of closed prisons were required by the Home Secretary to operate a cell searching policy under which prisoners were not permitted to remain in their cells during searches, so as to prevent intimidation of those conducting searches and to stop prisoners gaining knowledge of search techniques. Prison officers were permitted to examine, but not read, legal correspondence stored in cells. The claimant, who stored such correspondence in his cell, successfully contended that the policy was unlawful to the extent that it precluded prisoners’ presence during examination of legal correspondence. This note highlights four points of general importance which arise from their Lordships’ decision.
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