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England and Wales: Prisoners’

(Jan. 11, 2012) The High Court of England and Wales recently dismissed a case in which prisoners claimed that the practice of requiring them to urinate or defecate in plastic buckets violated their human rights. The Court held that it did not violate the prisoners' human rights as provided in the Human Rights Act 1998, which incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into the national law of the UK.

The judge reasoned this was because the prisoners had to use the bucket only if they were not let out in a timely fashion to use the restroom, and they had plenty of space and time to empty the bucket in a sluice area and clean it out at the next opportunity upon leaving their cell. The Court found that these practices did not contravene the prisoners' rights to privacy or dignity, and that they did not amount to inhumane or degrading treatment, both forbidden by the European Convention of Human Rights. (Desmond Grant and Roger Charles Gleaves v. Ministry of Justice [2011] EWHC 3379 (QB); Human Right Act 1998, c. 42.)