Jo Sidhu QC instructed in Court of Appeal Case concerning the Release of Prisoners (Alteration of Relevant Proportion of Sentence) Order 2020

Jo Sidhu QC took a leading role in a conjoined appeal with 14 appellants, in which the Court of Appeal handed judgment down last week.

The appeal concerned the Release of Prisoners (Alteration of Relevant Proportion of Sentence) Order 2020 which came into force on 1 April 2020. This Order means that anyone sentenced after that date to a term of seven years or more for a violent or sexual offence is only entitled to be released after serving two thirds of their sentence rather than after half as had previously been the case.

All of the appellants had had their sentence hearings delayed until after 1 April 2020 through no fault of their own and this had resulted in real injustices because they would now have to serve (in some cases) several years longer in prison. The question for the appeal was whether the sentencing judges should have corrected those injustices by reducing the sentences imposed. The Court of Appeal decided that, notwithstanding the injustices suffered, the sentencing judges had no power to reduce the sentences to mitigate the impact of the new release provisions.

The full judgment can be accessed here.


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