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Wronged by a State Authority?

It is a mark of a civilised society that anyone who suffers a wrong at the hands of state authorities is entitled to compensation. In a case on point, a prisoner whose release was considerably delayed when the Parole Board was stricken by staff shortages has won the right to substantial damages.

The man was sentenced to imprisonment in 2008 after he was convicted of a serious assault. He was ordered to serve a minimum of three years and five months in prison. However, he was only released in 2017 after the Parole Board decided that the danger he once posed to society had passed.

After he took legal proceedings, the High Court found that the critical Parole Board hearing, and his eventual release, had been unlawfully delayed. Although matters have since improved, the Parole Board was at the time labouring under a serious backlog of work and an insufficiency of human resources. The amount of the man’s compensation for what amounted to a breach of his human right to liberty has yet to be assessed.