David Manknell appeared in the Supreme Court in the cases of Osborn, Booth and Reilly, who each sought to overturn decisions of the Court of Appeal that they are not entitled to an oral hearing before the Parole Board when the Board considers their cases. The main issue in the appeals was the extent to which Article 5 of the ECHR requires an oral hearing, regardless of whether there is any prospect of it affecting the outcome of the Board’s determination. Judgment has now been handed down unanimously allowing the appeals.

The case has been commented upon in the UK Human Rights Blog as follows:

From a human rights perspective Osborn is a significant case. Before the Supreme Court the appellants had argued the case on the basis of the HRA/ECHR, giving little space to domestic law in their submissions (para 54). This approach was, in the Supreme Court’s opinion, wrong. Human rights law is not a distinct area of the law but permeates the entire legal system. Thus in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity the general guarantees of the ECHR are to be fulfilled via the more specific provisions of domestic law. (paras 55-56). The failure of domestic law to do so may be remedied not only by the legislature but also by the courts. The courts discharge this role by developing the common law and interpreting legislation.

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