Oliver Sanders acted for the Justice Secretary in this judicial review brought by two female indeterminate sentence prisoners challenging the availability and distribution of probation hostels for women (aka approved premises). Throughout England and Wales there are 94 approved premises for men and six for women. The overall number of places for men and women corresponds with the overall prisoner population which is roughly 95% male and 5% female, but the smaller number of hostels for women means they are more widely spread geographically. The claim was brought under the Equality Act 2010 and the Equality and Human Rights Commission intervened.
Following a hearing in October 2013, Mr Justice Cranston found that there was no unlawful discrimination on grounds of sex or race but that the defendant had not complied with the public sector equality duty and should undertake a fresh equality impact assessment.
Judgment can be read here.