Austin, Regina (on The Application of) v Parole Board for England and Wales: Admn 17 Jan 2022

Parole Board Publication Scheme Unduly Complicated

This claim for judicial review raises important issues about the lawfulness of the Parole Board’s policy and practice in relation to the provision of a summary of a Parole Board decision to victims and victims’ families and the media. The protocol required advance disclosure of the summary to legal representatives against their undertaking for non-disclosure in certain noteworthy cases. In this case, the undertaking was refused, citing professional obligations.
Held: There were potential conflicts between the protocol, and the solicitor’s professional duties to his client. The requirement in the Protocol of an undertaking by the solicitor not to disclose the content of the full decision letter and the draft summary to his client was, in the context of the mischief at which the Protocol was aimed, unreasonable, disproportionate, unfair and consequently unlawful. It could be simplified.

Mr Justice Spencer
[2022] EWHC 63 (Admin)
Parole Board Rules 2019 27, Criminal Justice Act 2003, Solicitors’ Regulation Authority Code of Conduct 6.4
England and Wales
CitedHazell v Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council HL 1991
Swap deals outwith Council powers
The authority entered into interest rate swap deals to protect itself against adverse money market movements. They began to lose substantial amounts when interest rates rose, and the district auditor sought a declaration that the contracts were . .
CitedDickins v Parole Board for England and Wales Admn 6-May-2021
The panel had made its decision on release of a life sentence prisoner and had sent its reasoned decision to the case manager. A question then arose as to whether new information could be received by the panel entitling it to reopen its decision. . .
CitedRoberts v Parole Board HL 7-Jul-2005
Balancing Rights of Prisoner and Society
The appellant had been convicted of the murder of three police officers in 1966. His tariff of thirty years had now long expired. He complained that material put before the Parole Board reviewing has case had not been disclosed to him.
Held: . .
CitedGifford-Hull v Parole Board for England and Wales Admn 28-Jan-2021
The prisoner’s solicitor declined to give an undertaking because he considered it to be contrary to his professional duty to his client to disclose all information to
his client about his case.
Held: HH Judge Cotter QC found it . .
CitedDSD and NBV and Others Regina (on The Application of) v Admn 28-Mar-2018
Challenge to decision of parole board for release of notorious criminal. – Whether Parole Board should take account of allegations made but neither prosecuted nor admitted. Whether Parole Board hearings were public.
Held: Granted
Sir . .
CitedOsborn v The Parole Board SC 9-Oct-2013
Three prisoners raised questions as to the circumstances in which the Parole Board is required to hold an oral hearing before making an adverse decision. One of the appeals (Osborn) concerned a determinate sentence prisoner who was released on . .
CitedThe Lord Chancellor v Detention Action CA 29-Jul-2015
The claimant challenged the legality of the Fast Track Rules 2014 which govern appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) against refusals by the Secretary of State for the Home Department (‘SSHD’) of asylum applications. . .
CitedA, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 30-Jul-2021
Standards to be applied by a court when it is asked to conduct a judicial review of the contents of a policy document or statement of practice issued by the Government. The Supreme Court set out the principles governing the test that should be . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Prisons, Media, Legal Professions

Updated: 19 January 2022; Ref: scu.671309