A new process for applications to vary Parole Board directions, request a deferral, request for additional witnesses, and ask for other information, was introduced on 1 November 2018.
The Stakeholder Response Form standardises the way parties can make these applications and gives each party the opportunity to respond, in compliance with Rule 10 of the Parole Board Rules.
The new process will have a clear timeline for when a party should submit a response and when a decision on the request will be made by a Parole Board member.
Both parties must now use the Stakeholder Response Form when making these requests. Any requests included in a body of an email will be rejected and returned to the sender.
Please refer to the guidance and FAQ sheet for more information on the new process.
The Stakeholder response form (SHRF) is used by any party in relation to a request to vary or revoke directions, to address licence variation requests, requests to amend panel logistics, time estimates, requests for additional directions/witnesses, requests for deferrals/adjournments or requests to expedite/prioritise a hearing. Applications to vary licence conditions can only be made after a release decision by the Parole Board.
The Parole Board will not accept applications without a properly completed SHRF being submitted by the applying party, i.e. ad-hoc applications via email/letter/telephone without the completed SHRF will not be accepted.
Representations from either party upon the referral of a case to the Parole Board should continue to be made in the usual way (Parole Board Rules 2016 – Rule 9) and a SHRF does not need to be completed. Representations under Rule 9 must be added to the dossier.
Witness availability and remote attendance applications do not fall under the SHRF process and will continue to be addressed directly between the witness and the Parole Board Case Manager. Non-disclosure applications by the Secretary of State should continue to be made in the usual way.
Any application must be made by a party (Prisoner/Legal representative or Secretary of State (via PPCS)). Any witness seeking to make a request via a SHRF must liaise with their respective party to the proceedings who will assess the application and then decide whether to put it before the Parole Board. For example, an Offender Manager or Offender Supervisor seeking to submit a SHRF must do so via PPCS.
Why the Change?
Use of the SHRF has been inconsistent. A party may have used the form for some applications and at other times may have simply emailed the Parole Board Case Manager seeking a variation to a direction.
This inconsistent approach creates issues in the Parole Board’s ability to ensure transparency and fairness to proceedings. It has not always been clear as to when or if the other party has been made aware of an application.
The new approach ensures that each party is aware of an application, that they have an opportunity to respond and that the process is compliant with the Parole Board Rules – Rule 10.
The new approach will ensure that a clear timeline is available in respect of by what date the responding (other) party should submit a response and when a decision by a Parole Board member can be expected.