AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF

                      Application No. 13183/87
                      by Norman BAMBER
                      against the United Kingdom


        The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private
on 14 December 1988, the following members being present:

              MM. C.A. NØRGAARD, President
                  J.A. FROWEIN
                  S. TRECHSEL
                  G. SPERDUTI
                  E. BUSUTTIL
                  G. JÖRUNDSSON
                  A.S. GÖZÜBÜYÜK
                  A. WEITZEL
                  J.C. SOYER
                  H.G. SCHERMERS
                  H. DANELIUS
                  H. VANDENBERGHE
             Mrs.  G.H. THUNE
             Sir  Basil HALL
             MM.  F. MARTINEZ
                  C.L. ROZAKIS
             Mrs.  J. LIDDY

             Mr.  H.C. KRÜGER Secretary to the Commission

        Having regard to Article 25 of the Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

        Having regard to the application introduced on 18 February 1988
by Norman BAMBER against the United Kingdom and registered
on 7 September under file No. 13183/87;

        Having regard to the report provided for in Rule 40 of the
Rules of Procedure of the Commission;

        Having deliberated;

        Decides as follows:


THE FACTS

        The applicant, Norman Bamber, is a citizen of the United
Kingdom currently residing in Bristol, born in Lancashire in 1935 and
a toolmaker by profession.  The facts of the case as submitted by him
may be summarised as follows:

        On 7 July 1965, the applicant was convicted after a trial in
Bristol of murdering his girlfriend's husband with an axe while the
latter was at home in bed.  He was given a mandatory sentence of life
imprisonment.

        On 21 April 1977, he was released on parole licence.  That
licence was revoked for a period of three months in 1978 because he
failed to report to his probation officer, and again for nine months
between August 1979 and April 1980 because he was alleged to have
failed to co-operate with the Probation Service.  It was again revoked
in November 1980 whilst the applicant was awaiting trial for offences
of theft and burglary, for which he was subsequently convicted on 10
April 1981 and sentenced to eighteen months' immediate imprisonment.
In the event, the Parole Board recommended against revocation of his
licence and he was released, after serving the fixed term, in
April 1982.

        On 21 September 1984, the applicant was convicted by the
Bristol Crown Court of further offences relating to the fraudulent use
of credit cards; on this occasion he was sentenced to three years
immediate imprisonment.  By virtue of Section 62 (7) of the Criminal
Justice Act 1967, the Judge at the Crown Court had the power to revoke
the applicant's licence, whether or not he passed any other sentence
upon him.  During the course of his observations upon sentence,
however, the Judge specifically stated that he did not consider it
proper to do so, bearing in mind particularly that the offences for
which he was then convicted were of a qualitatively different nature
to that for which the life sentence had been imposed.

        Notwithstanding this, the applicant's licence was revoked by
the Home Secretary in May 1985.  Under section 62 (1) of the 1967 Act,
the Home Secretary may revoke the licence if recommended to do so by
the Parole Board.  He also has the power to revoke the licence without
consulting the Board "where it appears to him that it is expedient in
the public interest to recall that person before such consultation is
practicable" (Section 62 (2)), though his decision may be overruled by
the Parole Board (Section 62 (5)).

        In November 1985 the applicant was notified that his date of
release had been set at 20 March 1987, though this was subsequently
cancelled by the Home Office for reasons which the applicant alleges to
be inconsistent and arbitrary.  Following a petition to the Home
Secretary, the applicant was advised on 1 May 1987 that his
provisional release date was now 21 September 1987, that is exactly
one year later than the date on which he would ordinarily have been
released from the fixed term of imprisonment of three years imposed by
the Crown Court on 21 September 1984 (one third of a sentence may be
remitted for industry and good conduct).  The applicant had no
possibility of challenging this decision.

COMPLAINTS

        The applicant complains that his continued detention,
following the decision of the Home Secretary in May 1985 to revoke his
parole licence, constituted a breach of Article 5 para. 1 (a) of the
Convention.  He argues, notwithstanding the fact that his sentence
of life imprisonment was fixed by law after conviction by a competent
court, that after a passage of time where he remained free of offences
and of activities which could be classed as similar in nature to his
original offence, the Home Secretary lost the right to revoke his
licence save in circumstances where he had grounds for believing that
the applicant's continued liberty would constitute a danger to the
public or to the applicant himself.  Furthermore, where a court of
competent jurisdiction had had the opportunity of dealing with the
question under 62 (7) of the 1967 Act, and of hearing the applicant's
arguments against revocation, the Home Secretary should not have
exercised his powers in a manner inconsistent with those of the court
in the absence of other circumstances not then known to the court.

        The applicant also alleges a breach of Article 5 para. 4 of
the Convention, in that he had no opportunity to take proceedings by
which the lawfulness of the revocation, and therefore of his
re-detention, could be determined speedily by a court.  Nor did any
court have the power to release him from detention.  In this respect,
the applicant relies upon the judgment of the Court in the Weeks case
(Eur.  Court H.R., Weeks judgment of 2 March 1987, Series A, No. 114).

        The applicant further complains under Article 5 para. 4 that
he was not entitled to present his case for release or to challenge
the decision of the Home Office to cancel his original release date of
20 March 1987.


THE LAW

1.      The applicant has complained that his continued detention as a
result of the Home Secretary's decision in May 1985 to revoke his
parole licence constituted a violation of his rights under Article 5
par. 1 (a) (Art. 5-1-a) of the Convention, which provides as follows:

"1.     Everyone has the right to liberty and security of
person.  No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in
the following cases and in accordance with a procedure
prescribed by law:

        (a)     the lawful detention of a person after
conviction by a competent court;
 ..."

        The applicant points out that the Home Secretary revoked his
licence in May 1985 after a court of competent jurisdiction had
considered it inappropriate to do so on the grounds that the offences
for which he was then convicted were of a qualitatively different
nature to that for which the life sentence had been imposed.  He
submits that in these circumstances and after a passage of time where
he remained free of offences and of activities which could be classed
as similar in nature to his original offence, the Home Secretary lost
the power to revoke his licence save in circumstances where he had
grounds for believing that the applicant's release would constitute a
danger to the public or to the applicant himself.

        The Commission first recalls that there is no incompatibility
with the Convention in the imposition of a life sentence in a
particular case or in a decision to keep a recidivist or habitual
offender at the disposal of the Government (e.g.  No. 7994/77, Kotälla
v. the Netherlands, Dec. 6.5.78, D.R. 14 p. 238).  Nor does the
Convention confer, in general, a right to release on licence or
require that parole decisions be taken by or subject to review by a
court, and it is clear in this respect that the executive must enjoy a
certain discretion in implementing or executing decisions of the
courts entrusted to its supervision (see Weeks v. the United Kingdom,
Comm.  Report 7.12.84, para. 73, Eur.  Court H.R., Series A No. 114 p.
43).

        It is established in this connection that the justification
for a person's continued detention or redetention on the basis of a
life sentence previously imposed on him is normally considered to have
been provided by the original conviction and appeal procedures, and
that such detention therefore constitutes a "lawful detention ...
after conviction by a competent court" within the meaning of Article 5
para. 1 (a) (Art. 5-1-a) of the Convention (e.g., No. 9089/80, Dec.
9.12.80, D.R. 24 p. 227).

        It is true that there are certain exceptional cases in which
the clearly stated purpose for which a life sentence is imposed, taken
together with the particular facts pertaining to the offence for which
a person is convicted, places the sentence in a "special category"
which may subsequently give rise to an issue under Article 5 para. 1
(a) (Art. 5-1-a) of the Convention when a person is redetained in
reliance upon it (see Weeks judgment, loc. cit., para. 46, p. 24).

        However in the Weeks case the Court stressed in particular,
that the applicant was given a discretionary life sentence not because
of the inherent gravity of the offence he had committed but because he
was considered to be a danger to the public.  For this reason the
Court found that his case was assimilable to that of the habitual
offender who is kept at the disposal of the executive (loc. cit.,
para. 47).

        The Commission finds that the present case, on the other hand,
cannot be said to fall within this category of cases, because the
applicant was sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment in 1965 on
account of the inherent gravity of his offence, namely murder.

        In consequence, the Commission finds that the applicant's
continued detention as a result of the decision to revoke his parole
licence was a "lawful detention ... after conviction by a competent
court" within the meaning of Article 5 para. 1 (a) (Art. 5-1-a) of the
Convention.

        It follows that this aspect of the application is manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2) of
the Convention.

2.      The applicant has also complained that he had no opportunity
to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of the revocation of his
licence, and therefore of his continued detention, could be determined
by a court, and further, that he could not challenge the decision of
the Home Secretary in respect of the original date of his release on
parole.  He invokes Article 5 para. 4 (Art. 5-4) of the Convention, which
provides as follows:


"4.     Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or
detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the
lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and
his release ordered if the detention is not lawful."

        The Commission has found above that the applicant's continued
detention was justified under Article 5 para. 1 (a) (Art. 5-1-a) as
"the lawful detention of a person following conviction by a competent
court".  It is established in this respect that the necessary
supervision of the lawfulness of such detention under Article 5 para.
4 (Art. 5-4) is incorporated at the outset in the applicant's original
trial and possible appeal against conviction and sentence (Eur.  Court
H.R., De Wilde, Ooms and Versyp case, judgment of 18 June 1971, Series
A No. 12 para. 76, p.40).

        Furthermore, the applicant in the present case cannot derive
from Article 5 para. 4 (Art. 5-4) of the Convention a right to release
on parole or to judicial review of parole decisions (see No. 9089/80,
loc. cit.)

        It follows that this aspect of the application is also
manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art.
27-2) of the Convention.


        For these reasons, the Commission


        DECLARES THE APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE





Secretary to the Commission         President of the Commission




    (H. C. KRÜGER)                       (C. A. NØRGAARD)