The Parole Board welcomes the findings from the Review of the Parole Board rules and Reconsideration Mechanism, which were announced today by the Secretary of State for Justice.
Caroline Corby, Chair of the Parole Board said:
“The outcome of the recent consultation and rules review builds on the work already undertaken to improve transparency and efficiency of the parole system.
“I am particularly pleased to see that the new reconsideration mechanism proposed is workable and will be properly resourced. We will be working with the Ministry of Justice to create and deliver a service that is transparent, timely and straight forward for victims and prisoners to use on the rare occasion that cases need to be looked at again.
“We are always striving to improve how we work and the upcoming Tailored Review provides us an opportunity to evaluate the way we are currently set up, ensuring that we have the most fair and independent parole system possible.”
What is the reconsideration mechanism?
The reconsideration mechanism will allow any party to the hearing to be able to ask for a case to be reconsidered if they believe a parole decision was unlawful, for example if:
- Proper procedures weren’t followed;
- The law has been wrongly applied;
- Important information wasn’t available to the panel at the time;
- The decision was unreasonable giving the information available to the Parole Board
A victim or a member of the public can ask the Secretary of State to make an application on their behalf, if they believe the decision was unlawful, but it is up to the Secretary of State to refer cases to the Parole Board
The reconsideration mechanism only applies to indeterminate and Extended Sentences.
Judicial Review is still available, but the aim is to provide a quick and free service to allow for problems to be resolved without the need to go to Court.
This mechanism isn’t available yet, but more information will be provided in due course.
For more information - please go to the MOJ website.
What is the Tailored Review?
This is an opportunity for the Ministry of Justice to look at whether the Parole Board should continue to sit as an non-departmental public body.
It is a Cabinet Office requirement to review public bodies during each Parliament. The Parole Board was last reviewed in 2014/15 and would need to be reviewed again before the end of 2019/20.
It will be looking to bolster the ‘court-like’ status of the Parole Board.
It will consider internal and external accountability, including governance arrangements.
The Parole Board will be publishing its response to the review in due course.
For more information, please see the MOJ announcement on GOV.UK.