What smoking bans?

| December 20, 2017

A prisoner has lost his attempt to enforce the smoking ban in English and Welsh jails after the supreme court ruled that crown premises are effectively exempt from the enforcement of health regulations, according to a story in The Guardian.

The unanimous judgment from the UK’s highest court will prevent the inmate from calling the National Health Service’s smoke-free compliance line to report breaches of the ban.

Lady Hale, the president of the supreme court, said she was driven with “considerable reluctance” to conclude that when parliament passed the 2006 Health Act, prohibiting smoking in offices, bars and enclosed areas, it did not mean to extend it to government or crown sites.

Sean Humber, head of the prison law team at the law firm Leigh Day who represented the inmate, said: “Why shouldn’t those living, working or visiting government properties be subject to the same laws, and indeed benefit from the same legal protections, as the rest of us?

“This judgment has far wider implications than simply the issue of smoking in prisons. It confirms that thousands of government properties, including, for example, courts and jobcentres, are not covered by the provisions of the Health Act prohibiting smoking in enclosed places. While many of these buildings even have signs saying it is against the law to smoke in them, these turn out to be incorrect.”

The Guardian’s story is at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/19/jails-exempt-smoking-ban-uk-supreme-court-rules.

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Category: Breaking News, Litigation, People, Regulation

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