Parole review changes in response to Osborn judgment

News on the Parole Board's work to revise its parole review processes, in response to the Osborn, Booth and Reilly Supreme Court judgment.

The Supreme Court judgment in the case of Osborn, Booth and Reilly handed down on 9 October 2013 has wide-reaching implications for the Parole Board. The judgment fundamentally changes the way the Parole Board must view the concept of an oral hearing and significantly broadens the circumstances in which the law requires it to hold one.

The most important points are:

  • the board’s policy and practice in respect of oral hearings has had to change

  • there will now have to be many more oral hearings than in the past

  • a prisoner who wishes to have an oral hearing is likely to be able to argue that his case falls within the illustrations or comments in the judgment

  • if in any doubt, the board should hold an oral hearing

  • fairness to the prisoner in the individual case before the board is the overriding factor

  • the board can no longer decline an oral hearing merely because it’s unlikely to make any difference

  • the board must not be tempted to refuse an oral hearing in order to save time, trouble or expense


Published 30 July 2014