Ireland: Prisoner's victory in 'slopping out' case to cost State at least €12m - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Ireland Prisoner's victory in 'slopping out' case to cost State at least €12m

14:55  15 november  2019
14:55  15 november  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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Some 1,200 cases over slopping out are in the pipeline. In his judgment last month, Mr Justice White rejected a key claim by Mr Simpson slopping out also Some 305 of that number were locked up for at least 21 hours daily. Legal sources believe a considerable number of the cases have a reasonable

Two prisoners have won a landmark legal victory after a judge ruled that slopping out breached their privacy rights. The men - who are convicted sex offenders - were both inmates at Peterhead Prison. They have been awarded compensation, and other cases are thought likely to follow

a building with a metal fence: Slopping out sees prisoners emptying their toilet buckets every morning Slopping out sees prisoners emptying their toilet buckets every morning The State faces a multi-million euro compensation bill after the Supreme Court awarded a former prisoner €7,500 in damages for being forced to “slop out” in Mountjoy jail.

The court ruled that Gary Simpson’s constitutional right to the protection of his person had been violated by the “slopping out” policy, in which prisoners were forced to manually empty human waste from their cells.

Last night, the chair of the Dáil’s powerful Public Accounts Committee, Seán Fleming, estimated that the ruling could cost the State at least €12m, plus “very substantial legal costs”.

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Slopping out has dramatically reduced in Irish prisons since 2010. Ex- prisoners have been warned against rushing to sue the State after a former inmate Mr Simpson’ s solicitor, Cahir O’Higgins, who is understood to be representing around 200 former prisoners with similar cases before the courts

The Supreme Court has ruled a former prisoner ’ s constitutional right to protection of his person was In a concurring judgment, Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell agreed with his colleague it was not permissible, at least in the way advanced in Mr Simpson’s case , to seek The case arose from slopping out , a

Mr Fleming told RTÉ News that there are around “1,600 other, similar related type cases in the system”.

a man wearing sunglasses: Former Prisoner Gary Simpson. Picture: Paddy Cummins/PCPhoto.ie Former Prisoner Gary Simpson. Picture: Paddy Cummins/PCPhoto.ie

“Sixteen hundred cases at €7,500 – that’s €12m – plus there are going to be very substantial legal costs,” he added.

Mr Fleming estimated the legal bill alone from the Simpson case is around €3m.

Delivering the judgment on behalf of the five-judge Supreme Court, Mr Justice John MacMenamin said that the conditions Mr Simpson had endured were “distressing, humiliating and fell below acceptable standards in an Irish prison in the year 2013”.

The practice, which still exists for a minority of prisoners, has been roundly condemned by the Inspector of Prisons as well as in a 1993 report by the European Committee on the Prevention of Torture

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The case arose from " slopping out ", a practice condemned in 1993 by the European Committee on the Prevention of Torture and criticised in several other reports Mr Simpson was also refused his legal costs , estimated at more than € 1m, against the State . He did not order him to pay the State ' s costs

The Supreme Court has ruled a former prisoner ’ s constitutional right to protection of his person was In a concurring judgment, Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell agreed with his colleague it was not permissible, at least in the way advanced in Mr Simpson’s case , to seek The case arose from slopping out , a

Mr Justice MacMenamin stressed the €7,500 award cannot be seen as a "benchmark" when other cases may differ on the facts.

In his 2017 High Court ruling, Mr Justice Michael White found the practice breached Mr Simpson's constitutional right to privacy and dignity.

Mountjoy Prison (stock image) Mountjoy Prison (stock image)

But the court ruled he wasn't subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment while he was a protected prisoner who was sharing a cell with another prisoner on 23-hour lock-up.

But the judge said incarceration must abide by the law and any limiting of prisoners' fundamental rights must be proportionate and not fall below identified standards to protect human dignity.

Conditions of detention must comply with national and international standards which Ireland has "pledged" to uphold.

The Department of Justice last night said it and the Irish Prison Service "are studying the judgment carefully, in consultation with the State Claims Agency", which is handling similar cases.

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Two prisoners have won a landmark legal victory after a judge ruled that slopping out breached their privacy rights. The men - who are convicted sex offenders - were both inmates at Peterhead Prison. They have been awarded compensation, and other cases are thought likely to follow

Under the slopping out regime there was no in-cell sanitation and no running water but basins He rejected a key claim that slopping out also breached his right not to be subject to inhuman and Paul Gallagher SC, for the State , argued Mr Simpson’ s conduct and evidence disentitled him to any costs .

However, the practice of slopping out has been "virtually eliminated in Irish prisons" with in-cell sanitation in place for "99pc of prisoners".

However, as of last month, 58 prisoners in single cells still do not have access to in-cell sanitation, the department said in a statement.

Fíona Ní Chinnéide, executive director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust, said while it welcomed the ruling and acknowledged that the State is working to eliminate the practice, 20 prisoners in Limerick and 38 in Portlaoise are still slopping out.

In addition, 46pc or 1,802 prisoners out of last month's prison population of 3,957, "are still required to toilet in the presence of others, with many having to take their meals in close proximity to the toilet", she said.

However, she said the ruling "does underline the absolute importance of meeting basic human rights norms and standards".

"It's clear that slopping out is a degrading practice for prisoners and staff," she told Independent.ie.

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Prisoner was found strangled to death in Cloverhill following row with another inmate .
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