HL Deb 24 October 1985 vol 467 cc1372-3WA
Lord Avebury asked

Her Majesty's Government:

Why the Home Secretary gives reasons in writing when notifying a refusal to exercise his powers under Rule 56(1) of the Prison Rules, but not when he notifies a decision to exercise those powers.

Lord Glenarthur

When a decision is taken, in response to a prisoner's petition, to refuse to exercise the Secretary of State's power under Rule 56(1), written notification of this is handed to the prisoner concerned. Where the decision is to remit or mitigate a punishment by the exercise of Rule 56(1), the prisoner will normally be informed orally. In neither case is it at present the practice to inform the prisoner concerned of the reasons for the decision, although consideration is being given to changing our policy on written notification generally.