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Judicial Review Petition Refused

PETITION OF AB, 2020

AB, a convicted sex offender, has had his Judicial review petition refused at the Outer House at the Court of Session. The man was found guilty of six sexual offences in relation to his stepchildren in 2011.  He sought to challenge the condition that on his release from prison on license that he must inform his supervisor of any “friendships, associations, or intimate or domestic relationships that he enters into with anyone.” 

The petitioner sought to argue this was in breach of his article 8 human rights and the condition lacked clarity and was in fact invalid under common law. AB was released 2/3rds through his sentence with the above conditions. In dealing with the petition Lord Pentland concluded that the petition should be refused. He stated: “In my opinion, the terms of the condition in the present case are not void for lack of certainty. The language used in the condition has ascertainable meaning and is not so unclear in effect as to be incapable of certain application…For the reasons I have given, I am not persuaded that it is impossible for the petitioner to comply with the condition. It follows that the argument based on frustration of statutory purpose falls to be rejected.” He continued “I do not consider that the condition lacks sufficient precision. 

The language it employs is straightforward and intelligible, as I have already explained. If the petitioner is in any doubt about how the condition applies in a particular set of circumstances he can easily seek guidance and advice from his supervising officer with regard to the type of relationships which he requires to disclose in order to comply with the condition. The petitioner explains in his affidavit that he is in regular contact with her.”

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