Outrage as Judge Defends the 'Civil Rights' of Phone Call Case Inmate

Daily Mail (London), March 21, 2007 | Go to article overview

Outrage as Judge Defends the 'Civil Rights' of Phone Call Case Inmate


Byline: GRAHAM GRANT

Home Affairs Editor

A CONVICTED armed robber won a landmark legal action yesterday when a judge ruled a recorded message on his calls from prison breached his human rights.

Stewart Potter lodged a case against the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), complaining the message on outgoing telephone calls breached his right to privacy.

The prisoner at Glenochil jail in Clackmannanshire said the prerecorded message - 'This call originates from a Scottish prison' - also 'inhibited his social rehabilitation' and was embarrassing.

Yesterday, a judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled the message was unlawful under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) because prisoners are entitled to a family life.

But politicians last night condemned the ruling and said it made Scotland a 'laughing stock'.

Lawyers for the inmate argued the message alerted his children's school to his incarceration.

It was also claimed that the information was not relevant to his dealings with teachers and others.

Potter, 43, was jailed for two consecutive terms of nine and 12 years for robbery, imposed in 2001 and the following year.

The criminal, from Glasgow, was said by one of his victims to have foamed at the mouth 'like a mad dog' during a raid on an off-licence in the city's Hyndland Road.

A 30-month battle was fought with the Scottish legal aid authorities to secure funding to bring his case to court. The test case followed previous inmates' human rights cases over slopping out, segregation and voting rights.

Potter challenged the legality of the SPS policy of an automated message being attached to a prisoner's outgoing call, informing the recipient it was coming from a jail.

Human Rights legislation says it is unlawful for a public authority to act in a way incompatible with the ECHR and Article 8 gives the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence.

Interference with that right by a public authority is prohibited, except in accordance with the law and when necessary for reasons such as public safety.

The case was handled by Tony Kelly, the lawyer from Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, who was also behind yesterday's legal bid to halt the Holyrood election in the row over prisoners' right to vote. Yesterday, Lord Glennie cited Article 8 of the European Convention, adding: 'In some societies it might be regarded as obvious that a person convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to a period of imprisonment should, for the duration of his imprisonment, be deprived of his civil rights.

'Such a notion has no place in our society. It is accepted that the message constitutes interference with the prisoner's right to respect for family life and correspondence.' But last night Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie said: 'There is a clear issue here - are the rights of the law-abiding majority being served ahead of the rights of a minority who happen to be in jail?

'It appears not. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Outrage as Judge Defends the 'Civil Rights' of Phone Call Case Inmate
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.