This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy

House of Lords to vote on crucial IPP amendments: tackling decades of injustice

House of Lords to vote on crucial IPP amendments: tackling decades of injustice


The House of Lords will deliberate on significant amendments to the Victims & Prisoners Bill, aimed at rectifying one of the most glaring injustices of the past half-century – Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentences

IPP, introduced in 2005 by New Labour to safeguard society from dangerous offenders, became a symbol of systemic failure due to its overuse, resulting in a national scandal. Despite its official abolition in 2012, close to 3,000 individuals, including many minor offenders, languish in prisons today, as the abolishment was not retrospective. Shockingly, some IPP prisoners have far exceeded their original minimum tariffs, with recent government data revealing that 86 IPPs have tragically taken their own lives.

Various amendments to the UK Victims & Prisoners Bill have been proposed, each aiming to ameliorate conditions for IPP prisoners. These amendments, to be debated and voted on in the House of Lords, are expected to challenge the government, with potential defeats on several fronts.

Of particular significance is the "Simon Brown Memorial Amendment," named after the late former Supreme Court Justice who condemned IPP as the "greatest single stain on the British Justice system." This amendment seeks to reverse the Parole Board release test burden, offering hope to IPP prisoners trapped in prolonged incarceration.

However, neither the Labour nor the Conservative Party has committed to resentencing IPP prisoners, leaving a significant gap in addressing this ongoing crisis.

The upcoming vote occurs amid mounting pressure on the Secretary of State for Justice, Alex Chalk, to urgently address the IPP issue. Various stakeholders, including the Head of the Prison Governors' Association and UN torture chief Dr. Alice Edwards, have condemned IPPs as inhumane and indefensible.

The proposed amendments aim to rectify the flaws in the IPP system, offering a glimmer of hope to thousands of individuals trapped in a legal quagmire.