Case details

R (on the application of Black) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Justice (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2016/0070

Case summary


Whether Chapter 1 of Part 1 of the Health Act 2006, which contains prohibitions on smoking in certain public places, binds the Crown by necessary implication.


The Appellant, Mr Black, is a prisoner. He complains that the legal ban on smoking introduced by the Health Act 2006 is not being enforced in common parts of the prison. The Appellant argues that prisoners should have confidential and anonymous access to the NHS Smoke-Free Compliance line which enables members of the public who report breaches of the law to the local authority. The Respondent, the Secretary of State, has refused this request, contending that it would serve no purpose since the Act does not bind the Crown, which administers the prison.

Judgment appealed

[2016] EWCA Civ 125



Paul Black


Secretary of State for Justice



Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Hughes, Lord Lloyd-Jones

Hearing start date

31 Oct 2017

Hearing finish date

01 Nov 2017

Judgment hand down date

19 Dec 2017

Watch hearing
31 Oct 2017 Morning session Afternoon session
01 Nov 2017 Morning session