Monday 23 October 2017

Graham Corbally challenges prison disciplinary measures

Aodhan O'Faolain

A PRISONER has brought a legal challenge because he is only permitted screened visits with family and friends after he refused to take part in a random drugs test.

The High Court action has been brought by Graham Corbally, who is currently serving a five year sentence for robbery.

Last March, while in Mountjoy Prison, he was told by the prison authorities to provide a saliva sample for a mandatory drug test.

He refused to do so, and said he had a number of reasons for doing so. As a result of his refusal Corbally was disciplined by the prison authorities. Since then he has only been allowed screened visits with family members until such a time as he provided a sample of saliva.

He claims the sanction is a breach of both his constitutional rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as his rights to bodily integrity. He also claims that the being denied having any physical contact with members of his family for an indefinite and uncertain period of time is a further breach of his rights.

He is due for release in March 2013.

In his action against the Irish Prison Services, Minister for Justice, Ireland the Attorney General, and the Governor of Mountjoy Prison he is seeking orders quashing the decision to place on screened visits until he provides a saliva sample.

Leave to bring the challenge was granted, on an ex-parte (one-side only) basis, by Mr Justice Michael Peart. The Judge made the action returnable to a date in December.

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