Brooke and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v The Parole Board and Another: CA 1 Feb 2008

The claimant prisoner complained that the Parole Board was insufficiently independent of government to provide a fair hearing. The court at first instance had found that the relationship between the Parole Board and the sponsoring Department put the Secretary in a position of apparent influence over the approach of the Parole Board in its curial duties. From that position he had sought, inappropriately, to influence the manner in which the Board performed its duties. The Secretary said the Board did not act as a court.
Held: The Board could have standing as a court. The Secretary of State had used his power of appointment to influence decisions, and ‘a court must be independent not only of the parties but of the executive. This is not merely because this is a requirement of the separation of powers but because the executive sometimes has an interest in the result of the proceedings. So far as the Parole Board is concerned the possibility exists that the Secretary of State may be anxious for the Board to apply a stricter, or alternatively a more lenient, test to releasing prisoners than that required by the law.’ The appellant had restricted te Board from oral hearings by restricting its budget. The findings of lack of independence were fully justified. The power to remove a Parole Board member was also too widely expressed. As to sponsorhsip of the Board by the appellant: ‘the relationship between the Board and its sponsoring units has been and is one that is liable to create the perception that the Board is not independent. The fact that the Board has to work closely with NOMS requires that it should be manifestly independent of NOMS. The current sponsorship arrangements defeat that requirement. ‘
Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers CJ
[2008] EWCA Civ 29, Times 05-Feb-2008, [2008] 1 WLR 1950, [2008] 3 All ER 289, [2008] UKHRR 500
Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights, Criminal Justice Act 2003 19
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSecretary of State for Justice v Walker; Same v James CA 1-Feb-2008
moj_walkerCA2008
The claimant had been sentenced to a short period of imprisonment but with an indeterminate term until he demonstrated that it was no longer necessary for the protection of the public. He complained that the term having expired, no opportunity had . .
CitedWeeks v The United Kingdom ECHR 2-Mar-1987
The applicant, aged 17, was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to life imprisonment in the interests of public safety, being considered by the trial judge on appeal to be dangerous.
Held: ‘The court agrees with the Commission and the . .
CitedStafford v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-May-2002
Grand Chamber – The appellant claimed damages for being held in prison beyond the term of his sentence. Having been released on licence from a life sentence for murder, he was re-sentenced for a cheque fraud. He was not released after the end of the . .
CitedThynne, Wilson and Gunnell v The United Kingdom ECHR 25-Oct-1990
The applicants, discretionary life prisoners, complained of a violation on the ground that they were not able to have the continued lawfulness of their detention decided by a court at reasonable intervals throughout their imprisonment.
Held: A . .
CitedHirst v United Kingdom ECHR 24-Jul-2001
The applicant asserted that the delays in the reviews, undertaken by the Parole Board, of his continued detention as a discretionary life prisoner, was a breach of his right to a speedy decision. The delays were between 21 and 24 months. Such delays . .
CitedRegina v Parole Board and Another ex parte Wilson CA 6-May-1992
It was natural justice to allow a discretionary lifer to see the reports which had been prepared for consideration on his application for release on licence. W had been sentenced to life imprisonment for buggery, and was a discretionary life . .
CitedRegina v Parole Board, ex Parte Watson CA 11-Mar-1996
The test as to whether there was still a need to protect the public safety from the defendant was just as appropriate when considering the revocation of a licence, as it was when the need for continued detention was being reviewed before the grant . .
CitedGirling v Secretary of State for the Home Department and Another CA 21-Dec-2006
The claimant had challenged the findings of the Parole Board in his case, saying that the Board was not an independent tribunal as required under human rights law, since it was subject to direction from the Home Secretary.
Held: The Home . .

Cited by:
CitedSecretary of State for Justice v Walker; Same v James CA 1-Feb-2008
moj_walkerCA2008
The claimant had been sentenced to a short period of imprisonment but with an indeterminate term until he demonstrated that it was no longer necessary for the protection of the public. He complained that the term having expired, no opportunity had . .
CitedMcGetrick, Regina (on The Application of) v Parole Board and Another CA 14-Mar-2013
The claimant prisoner appealed against refusal of review of the use of allegations and evidence of offences not tried against him when deciding as to his release on licence. The material would suggest that he might pose a continuing risk to . .
CitedMcGetrick, Regina (on The Application of) v Parole Board and Another CA 14-Mar-2013
The claimant prisoner appealed against refusal of review of the use of allegations and evidence of offences not tried against him when deciding as to his release on licence. The material would suggest that he might pose a continuing risk to . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 06 February 2021; Ref: scu.264053