QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
B e f o r e :
(Vice President of the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division)
MR JUSTICE HENRIQUES
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF "M"||(CLAIMANT)|
|INNER LONDON CROWN COURT||(DEFENDANT)|
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MR J CROW (instructed by the Treasury Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the Secretary of State as INTERESTED PARTY
Monday, 10th February 2003
Crown Copyright ©
"The magistrates, under s8 Crime & Disorder Act 1988, are required to be satisfied that the order is desirable in the interests of preventing any further offence by child... We have taken into account that this is a first offence; we have read the pre-sentence report which suggests that there should not be a parenting order but taking into account those factors we are perfectly satisfied that in the interests of preventing further offences the order should be made. There has been no infringement of the human rights legislation. Parliament was entitled to pass the Act to enforce parental duty in the public interest. The compensation order should not be quashed. The £30 should be paid. Parliament acted on the supposition that a parent has control of a child. It does not reflect a fault on the part of the parent or criminality, it is entirely reasonable to enforce the order against the parent. There is to be no order for costs on the appeal."
Background to the parenting order legislation
"In principle we believe that parents should take more responsibility for the upbringing of their children and we support the placing of obligations upon the parents of children who offend."
The Committee recommended that the Home Office study carefully what further steps could be taken to strengthen the duties which may be placed upon the parents of juvenile offenders.
"Parents of young offenders may not directly be to blame for crimes of their children, but parents have to be responsible for providing their children with proper care and control. The courts need powers to help and support parents more effectively to keep their children out of trouble."
"The bill reinforces the crucial role of parents. Parenting orders will help and support those who are genuinely trying to control their children's unacceptable behaviour. Sanctions will be available for the minority who stubbornly evade their parental responsibilities."
The claimant's submissions on the issue of incompatibility
"Although the jurisprudence of the Strasbourg Court appears to me as yet to be unclear on this point, I would hold that the fact that prohibitions made under section 1(6) of [the Crime and Disorder] Act may have this effect is sufficient to attract the right to a fair trial which is guaranteed by article 6(1). This means that the court must act with scrupulous fairness at all stages in the proceedings."
Reliance is also placed on Lord Steyn's observation at paragraph 29 of that case:
"For my part, in the light of the particular use of the civil remedy of an injunction, as well as the defendant's right under article 8 to respect for his private and family life, it is clear that a defendant has the benefit of the guarantee applicable to civil proceedings under article 6.1. Moreover, under domestic English law they undoubtedly have a constitutional right to a fair hearing in respect of such proceedings."
The Secretary of State's response
"If the House takes this view it will be sufficient for the magistrates, when applying section 1(1)(a) to be sure that the defendant has acted in an anti-social manner, that is to say, in a manner that caused or was likely to cause harassment ... The inquiry under section 1(1)(b), namely that such an order is necessary to protect persons from further anti-social acts by him, does not involve a standard of proof: it is an exercise of judgment or evaluation."
Conclusions in relation to the Article 6 submission
Submissions in relation to Article 8
The Secretary of State's response
Conclusion in relation to Article 8
The irrationality of the parenting order
The issue of compensation