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Parole Board Rules 2004

These rules have been superseded by the Parole Board Rules 2011. The text below, which shows the old 2004 rules as amended by the Parole Board (Amendment) Rules 2009.

Part I: Introduction

Contents

1. Citation, commencement, application and interpretation

PART I: Introduction

1. Title, commencement and revocation

2. Application and Interpretation

PART II: General

3. Appointment of panels

4. Listing the case for hearing

5. Representation

6. Information and reports by the Secretary of State

7. Evidence of the prisoner

8. Directions

9. Adjudications

10. Panel decisions

PART III: Proceedings without a hearing

11. Consideration by a single member panel

12. Provisional decision against release

13. [Consideration by an oral panel][1]

PART IV: Proceedings with a hearing

14. General provision

15. Witnesses

16. Observers

17. Notice of hearing

18. Location, privacy of proceedings

19. Hearing procedure

20. The decision

PART V: Miscellaneous

21. Time

22. Transmission of documents etc.

23. Irregularities

24. References to the Board following recall

25. Transitional provision

SCHEDULES

1. Information and reports for submission to the Board by the Secretary of State on a reference to the Board under section 28(6)(a) or (7) of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 or section 44A(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1991.

2. Information and reports for submission to the Board by the Secretary of State on a reference to the Board under section 32(4) of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 or section 39(4) of the Criminal Justice Act 1991.

Amendments

  1. Amended by Parole Board (Amendment) Rules 2009, wef 1/4/09

Rule 1

Title, commencement and revocation

1. (1) These Rules may be cited as the Parole Board Rules 2004 and shall come into force on 1st August 2004.

(2) The Parole Board Rules 1997 are hereby revoked.

Rule 2

Application and interpretation

2. (1) Subject to rule 24, these Rules apply where a prisoner's case is referred to the Board by the Secretary of State under section 28(6)(a), 28(7) or 32(4) of the 1997 Act, or under section 39(4) or 44A(2) of the 1991 Act, at any time after the coming into force of these Rules.

(2) In these Rules, unless a contrary intention appears:

'Board' means the Parole Board, continued by section 32(1) of the 1991 Act;
'Chairman' means the chairman of the Board appointed under paragraph 2 of Schedule 5 to the 1991 Act;
'Chair' means the chairman of a panel appointed under rule 3(5);
'Governor' includes a director of a contracted out prison;
[“ICM member” means a member of the Board accredited by the Board to manage cases in accordance with the Board’s intensive case management system][1]
'Panel' means those members of the Board constituted in accordance with rule 3 and having conduct of the case;
'Parties' means the prisoner and the Secretary of State;
'Prison' includes a young offender institution or any other institution where the prisoner is or has been detained;
'Single member panel' means that member of the Board constituted in accordance with rule 3(1);
'Three member paper panel' means those members of the Board constituted in accordance with rule 3(2);[1]
'Three member[1] oral panel' means those members of the Board constituted in accordance with rule 3(3);
'The 1991 Act' means the Criminal Justice Act 1991; and
'The 1997 Act' means the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997.

Amendments

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Amended by Parole Board (Amendment) Rules 2009, wef 1/4/09

PART II: GENERAL

Rule 3

Appointment of panels

3. (1) The Chairman shall appoint one member of the Board for the purpose of conducting proceedings in relation to a prisoner's case without a hearing pursuant to rule 11.

(2) Where consideration of a prisoners case is required pursuant to rule 13, the Chairman shall appoint three members of the Board to form a panel for the purpose of conducting proceedings without a hearing pursuant to that rule.[1]

(3) Subject to paragraph (6) below,[1] where a hearing is required in relation to a prisoner's case, the Chairman shall appoint three [one or more][1] members of the Board to form a panel for the purpose of conducting proceedings with a hearing. [In respect of a hearing in the case of a prisoner serving an automatic life sentence, a mandatory life sentence, a discretionary life sentence, or a sentence during Her Majesty’s pleasure, the oral panel shall consist of or include a sitting or retired judge.][1]

(4) In relation to any prisoners case, no member shall be appointed to more than one of the panels formed under paragraph (1), (2)[1] or (3) above.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6) below,[1] the Chairman shall appoint one member of each panel to act as chair of that panel. [In relation to any panels comprising two or more members formed under paragraph (3) above that include a sitting or retired judge, that person shall act as chair of the panel.][1]

(6) In relation to cases referred to the Board under section 28(6)(a), 28(7) or 32(4) of the 1997 Act, the members appointed pursuant to paragraph (3) above shall include a person who has a 5 year general qualification, within the meaning of section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, and that person shall act as chairman of the panel.

Amendments

Rule 4

Listing the case for hearing

4. The Board shall list the case and shall notify the parties of the date when the case was so listed within 5 working days thereafter.

Rule 5

Representation

5. (1) Subject to paragraph (2), a party may be represented by any person who he has authorised for that purpose.

(2) The following are ineligible to act as a representative -

(a) any person liable to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983,
(b) any person serving a sentence of imprisonment,
(c) any person who is on licence having been released under Part III of the Criminal Justice Act 1967, under Part II of the 1991 Act, under Chapter 6 of Part 12 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 or under Part II of the 1997 Act, or
(d) any person with a previous conviction for an imprisonable offence which remains unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

(3) Within 5 weeks of the case being listed, a party shall notify the Board and the other party of the name, address and occupation of any person authorised in accordance with paragraph (1).

(4) Where a prisoner does not authorise a person to act as his representative, the Board may, with his agreement, appoint someone to act on his behalf.

Rule 6

Information and reports by the Secretary of State

6. (1) Within 8 weeks of the case being listed, the Secretary of State shall serve on the Board and, subject to paragraph (2), the prisoner or his representative -

(a) the information specified in Part A of Schedule 1 to these Rules,
(b) the reports specified in Part B of that Schedule, and
(c) such further information as the Secretary of State considers to be relevant to the case.

(2) Any part of the information or reports referred to in paragraph (1) which, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, should be withheld from the prisoner on the grounds that its dis closure would adversely affect national security, the prevention of disorder or crime or the health or welfare of the prisoner or others (such withholding being a necessary and proportionate measure in all the circumstances of the case), shall be recorded in a separate document and served only on the Board together with the reasons for believing that its disclosure would have that effect.

(3) Where a document is withheld from the prisoner in accordance with paragraph (2), it shall, unless the chair of the panel directs otherwise, nevertheless be served as soon as practicable on the prisoner's representative if he is

(a) a barrister or solicitor,
(b) a registered medical practitioner, or
(c) a person whom the chair of the panel directs is suitable by virtue of his experience or professional qualification;

provided that no information disclosed in accordance with this paragraph shall be disclosed either directly or indirectly to the prisoner or to any other person without the consent/authority of the chair of the panel.

Rule 7

Evidence of the prisoner

7. (1) Within 12 weeks of the case being listed, the prisoner shall serve on the Board and the Secretary of State any representations about his case that he wishes to make.

(2) Any other documentary evidence that the prisoner wishes to adduce at a hearing of his case shall be served on the Board and the Secretary of State at least 14 days before the date of the hearing.

Rule 8

Directions

8. (1) Subject to paragraph (4), the chair of the panel may at any time [an ICM member may at any time prior to the appointment of a panel, and the chair of such panel may at any time after the panel is appointed,][1] give, vary or revoke such directions as he thinks proper to enable the parties to prepare for the consideration of the prisoners case or to assist the panel to determine the issues.

(2) Such directions may in particular relate to -

(a) the timetable for the proceedings,
(b) the varying of the time within which or by which an act is required by these Rules to be done,
(c) the service of documents,
(d) as regards any documents which have been received by the Board but which have been withheld from the prisoner in accordance with rule 6(2), whether withholding such documents is a necessary and proportionate measure in all the circumstances of the case, and
(e) the submission of evidence.

(3) Within 7 days of being notified of a direction under paragraph (2)(d), either party may appeal against it to the Chairman, who shall notify the other party of the appeal; the other party may make representations on the appeal to the Chairman whose decision shall be final.

(4) Directions under paragraph (1) may be given, varied or revoked either -

(a) of [the ICM member’s or][1] the chair of the panel's own motion, or
(b) on the written application of a party which has been served on the other party and which specifies the direction that is sought; but in either case, both parties shall be given an opportunity to make written representations or, [after a panel has been appointed and][1] where the chair of the panel thinks it necessary, and subject to paragraph (7)(b), to make oral submissions at a preliminary hearing fixed in accordance with paragraph (5).

(5) Where the chair of the panel decides to hold a preliminary hearing, he shall give the parties at least 14 days' notice of the date, time and place fixed for that hearing.

(6) A preliminary hearing shall be held in private and information about the proceedings and the names of any persons concerned in the proceedings shall not be made public.

(7) Except in so far as the chair of the panel otherwise directs, at a preliminary hearing -

(a) the chair of the panel shall sit alone, and
(b) the prisoner shall not attend unless he is unrepresented.

(8) The power to give directions may be exercised in the absence of the parties.

(9) Notice of any directions given, varied or revoked under this rule shall be served on the parties as soon as practicable thereafter.

Amendments

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Amended by Parole Board (Amendment) Rules 2009, wef 1/4/09

Rule 9

Adjournment

9. (1) The panel may at any time adjourn proceedings to obtain further information or for such other purposes as it may think appropriate

(2) Before adjourning proceedings, the panel may give such directions as it thinks fit to ensure the proceedings can be resumed and the application considered as soon as possible.

(3) Before a three member [an][1] oral panel resumes any hearing which was adjourned without a further hearing date being fixed, it shall give the parties not less than 3 weeks' notice, or such shorter notice to which all parties may agree, of the date, time and place of the resumed hearing.

Amendments

  1. Amended by Parole Board (Amendment) Rules 2009, wef 1/4/09

Rule 10

Panel decisions

10. (1) Where a panel has been constituted under rule 3(2) or (3),[1] any decision of the majority of the members of the panel shall be the decision of the panel.

(2) For the avoidance of doubt, decisions made pursuant to rule 11(2)(b) or 13(2)(b) are provisional decisions as to the prisoners suitability for release, a final decision only being made pursuant to rule 12(3) or 13(6) or when the case is determined by a three member oral panel. [A panel that is unable to reach a decision in accordance with paragraph (1) shall be dissolved by the Chairman, who shall then appoint a new panel.][1]

Amendments

  1. 1.0 1.1 Amended by Parole Board (Amendment) Rules 2009, wef 1/4/09

PART III: PROCEEDINGS WITHOUT A HEARING

Rule 11

Consideration by single member panel

11. (1) Within 14 weeks of the case being listed, a single member panel shall consider the prisoners case without a hearing.

(2) The single member panel must either

(a) decide that the case should be considered by a three member oral panel [receive further consideration by an oral panel],[1] or
(b) make a provisional decision as to the prisoners suitability [that the prisoner is unsuitable][1] for release.

(3) The decision of the single member panel shall be recorded in writing with reasons, and shall be provided to the parties within a week of the date of the decision.

Amendments

  1. 1.0 1.1 Amended by Parole Board (Amendment) Rules 2009, wef 1/4/09

Rule 12

Provisional decision against release

12. (1) In any case where the single member panel has made a provisional decision under rule 11(2)(b) that the prisoner is unsuitable for release, the prisoner may require a three member [request an][1] oral panel to give consideration to his case with a hearing.

(2) Where the prisoner does so require [request][1] consideration of his case with a hearing, he must serve notice to that effect [, giving full reasons for the request,][1] on the Board and the Secretary of State within 19 weeks of the case being listed.

(3) If no notice has been served in accordance with paragraph (2) after the expiry of the period permitted by that paragraph, the provisional decision shall become final and shall be provided to the parties within 20 weeks of the case being listed.

Amendments

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Amended by Parole Board (Amendment) Rules 2009, wef 1/4/09

Rule 13

[Consideration by an oral panel

13. In any case where the single member panel has referred the case to an oral panel for further consideration under rule 11(2)(a) or where a hearing has been ordered pursuant to a request under rule 12(2), the case must be considered by an oral panel within 26 weeks of the case having been originally listed.][1]

Provisional decision in favour of release: consideration by three member paper panel

13. (1) In any case where the single member panel has made a provisional decision under rule 11(2)(b) that the prisoner is suitable for release, consideration of his case must be made by a three member paper panel within 17 weeks of the case being listed.

(2) The three member paper panel must either

(a) decide that the case should be considered by a three member oral panel, or
(b) uphold the provisional decision of the single member panel that the prisoner is suitable for release.

(3) The decision by the three member paper panel shall be recorded in writing with reasons, and shall be provided to the parties within a week of the date of the decision.

(4) In any case to which paragraph (2)(b) applies, the Secretary of State may require a three member oral panel to give consideration to the prisoners case with a hearing.

(5)Where the Secretary of State does so require consideration of the case with a hearing, he must serve notice to that effect on the Board and the prisoner within 22 weeks of the case being listed.

(6) If no notice has been served in accordance with paragraph (5) after the expiry of the period permitted by that paragraph, the provisional decision shall become final and shall be provided to the parties within 23 weeks of the case being listed.

Amendments

  1. Amended by Parole Board (Amendment) Rules 2009, wef 1/4/09

PART IV: PROCEEDINGS WITH A HEARING

Rule 14

General provisions

14. (1)This Part of the Rules applies in any case where a decision pursuant to rule 11(2)(a) or 13(2)(a)[1] has been made, or where a notice[hearing has been ordered pursuant to a request][1] under rule 12(2) or 13(5) has been served,[1] or in any case referred to the Board under section 32(4) of the 1997 Act or under section 39(4) or 44A(2) of the 1991 Act.

(2) In relation to any case to be given consideration by a three member oral panel by virtue of rule 13(5), rule 15(1) shall have effect as if the reference to 20 weeks was a reference to 23 weeks, and rule 15(2) shall have effect as if the reference to 21 weeks was a reference to 24 weeks.

(3)The prisoner shall, within 23 weeks of the case being listed, notify the Board and the Secretary of State whether he wishes to attend the hearing.

(4) Any reference in this Part of the Rules to a panel is to a three member [an][1] oral panel.

Amendments

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Amended by Parole Board (Amendment) Rules 2009, wef 1/4/09

Rule 15

Witnesses

15. (1) Where a party wishes to call witnesses at the hearing, he shall make a written application to the Board, a copy of which he shall serve on the other party, within 20 weeks of the case being listed, giving the name, address and occupation of the witness he wishes to call and the substance of the evidence he proposes to adduce.

(2) Where the Board wishes to call witnesses at the hearing, the chair of the panel should notify the parties, within 21 weeks of the case being listed, giving the name, address and occupation of the witness it wishes to call and the substance of the evidence it proposes to adduce.

(3) The chair of the panel may grant or refuse an application under paragraph (1) and shall communicate his decision to both parties, giving reasons in writing for his decision in the case of a refusal.

(4) Where a witness is called under paragraphs (1) or (2), it shall be the duty of the person calling the witness to notify the witness at least 2 weeks before the hearing of the date of the hearing and the need to attend.

Rule 16

Observers

16. A party may apply, in accordance with the procedure set out in rule 15(1) and (3), to be accompanied at the hearing by such other persons, in addition to any representative he may have authorised, as he wishes to support him or to observe the proceedings; but before granting any such application the Board shall obtain the agreement of -

(a) the governor where the hearing is held in a prison,
(b) in any other case, the person who has the authority to agree.

Rule 17

Notice of hearing

17. (1) The hearing shall be held within 26 weeks of the case being listed, but when fixing the date of the hearing the Board shall consult the parties.

(2) The Board shall give the parties at least 3 weeks notice of the date, time and place scheduled for the hearing or such shorter notice to which the parties may agree.

Rule 18

Location, privacy of proceedings

18. (1) The hearing shall be held at the prison or other institution where the prisoner is detained, or such other place as the chair of the panel, with the agreement of the Secretary of State, may direct.

(2) The hearing shall be held in private.

(3) In addition to witnesses and observers previously approved pursuant to rules 15 and 16, the chair of the panel may admit to the hearing such other persons on such terms and conditions as he considers appropriate.

(4) The parties may not challenge at the hearing the attendance of any witness or observer whose attendance has previously been approved pursuant to rules 15 and 16.

Rule 19

Hearing procedure

19. (1) At the beginning of the hearing the chair of the panel shall explain the order of proceeding which the panel proposes to adopt, and shall invite each party present to state their view as to the suitability of the prisoner for release.

(2) The panel shall avoid formality in the proceedings and so far as possible shall make its own enquiries in order to satisfy itself of the level of risk of the prisoner; it shall conduct the hearing in such manner as it considers most suitable to the clarification of the issues before it and generally to the just handling of the proceedings it.

(3) The parties shall be entitled to appear and be heard at the hearing and take such part in the proceedings as the panel thinks fit; and the parties may hear each others evidence, put questions to each other, call any witnesses who the Board has authorised to give evidence in accordance with rule 15, and put questions to any witness or other person appearing before the panel.

(4) The chair of the panel may require any person present at the hearing who is, in his opinion, behaving in a disruptive manner to leave and may permit him to return, if at all, only on such conditions as the chair may specify.

(5) The panel may adduce or receive in evidence any document or information notwithstanding that such document or information would be inadmissible in a court of law, but no person shall be compelled to give any evidence or produce any document which he could not be compelled to give or produce on the trial of an action.

(6) The chair of the panel may require the prisoner, any witness appearing for the prisoner, or any other person present, to leave the hearing where evidence is being examined which the chair of the panel, in accordance with rule 8(2)(d) (subject to any successful appeal under rule 8(2)), previously directed should be withheld from the prisoner as adversely affecting national security, the prevention of disorder or crime or the health or welfare of the prisoner or others.

(7) After all the evidence has been given, the prisoner shall be given a further opportunity to address the panel.

Rule 20

The decision

20. The panels decision determining a case shall be recorded in writing with reasons, signed by the chair of the panel, and provided in writing to the parties not more than 7[14][1] days after the end of the hearing; the recorded decision with reasons shall only make reference to matters which the Secretary of State has referred to the Board.

Amendments

  1. Amended by Parole Board (Amendment) Rules 2009, wef 1/4/09

PART V: MISCELLANEOUS

Rule 21

Time

21. Where the time prescribed by or under these Rules for doing any act expires on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the act shall be in time if done on the next working day.

Rule 22

Transmission of documents etc.

22. Any document required or authorised by these Rules to be served or otherwise transmitted to any person may be transmitted by electronic means, sent by pre-paid post or delivered -

(a) in the case of a document directed to the Board or the chair of the panel, to the office of the Board;
(b) in any other case, to the last known address of the person to whom the document is directed.

Rule 23

Irregularities

23. Any irregularity resulting from a failure to comply with these Rules before the panel has determined a case shall not of itself render the proceedings void, but the panel may, and shall, if it considers that the person may have been prejudiced, take such steps as it thinks fit, before determining the case, to cure the irregularity, whether by the amendment of any document, the giving of any notice, the taking of any step or otherwise.

Rule 24

References to the Board following recall

24. (1) Where the Secretary of State refers a prisoner's case to the Board under section 32(4) of the 1997 Act or section 39(4) of the 1991 Act to consider a recall:

(a) rules 11 to 13 shall not apply; and
(b) subject to the above, these Rules shall only apply where the prisoner has made representations against recall and subject to the modifications in paragraph (2).

(2) The modifications referred to in paragraph (1) are as follows:

(a) any references to periods of time set out in these Rules shall apply as if they were references to such period of time as the chair of the panel shall in each case determine, taking into account both the desirability of the Board reaching an early decision in the prisoner's case and the need to ensure fairness to the prisoner; and
(b) rule 6 shall apply as if the references in paragraph (1)(a) and (b) of that rule to the information and reports specified in Schedule 1 were references to the information and reports set out in Schedule 2.

Rule 25

Transitional provision

25. The revocation by these Rules of the Parole Board Rules 1997 does not affect their operation in relation to any referral of a prisoners case made to the Board before the coming into force of the revocation.

SCHEDULES

Schedule 1

Rule 6(1)

Information and reports for submission to the Board by the Secretary of State on a reference to the Board under section 28(6)(a) or (7) or the 1997 Act or section 44A(2) of the 1991 Act

Part A: Information relating to the prisoner

1. The full name of the prisoner

2. The date of birth of the prisoner.

3. The prison in which the prisoner is detained and details of other prisons in which the prisoner has been detained, the date and reasons for any transfer.

4. The date the prisoner was given the life sentence or extended sentence, details of the offence and any previous convictions.

5. The comments, if available, of the trial judge in passing sentence.

6. Where applicable, the conclusions of the Court of Appeal in respect of any appeal by the prisoner against conviction or sentence.

7. The parole history, if any, of the prisoner, including details of any periods spent on licence during the currency of the life sentence or extended sentence.

Part B: Reports relating to the prisoner

1. Pre-trial and pre-sentence reports examined by the sentencing court on the circumstances of the offence.

2. Reports on a prisoner while he was subject to a transfer direction under section 47 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

3. Current reports on the prisoners risk factors, reduction in risk and performance and behaviour in prison, including views on suitability for release on licence as well as compliance with any sentence plan.

4. An up-to-date home circumstances report prepared for the Board by an officer of the supervising local probation board, including information on the following where relevant:

(a) details of the home address, family circumstances, and family attitudes towards the prisoner;
(b) alternative options if the offender cannot return home;
(c) the opportunity for employment on release;
(d) the local communitys attitude towards the prisoner (if known);
(e) the attitudes and concerns of the victims of the offence (if known);
(f) the prisoners attitude to the index offence;
(g) the prisoners response to previous periods of supervision;
(h) the prisoners behaviour during any temporary leave during the current sentence;
(i) the prisoners attitude to the prospect of release and the requirements and objectives of supervision;
(j) an assessment of the risk of reoffending;
(k) a programme of supervision;
(l) a view on suitability for release; and
(m) recommendations regarding any non-standard licence conditions.

Schedule 2

Rules 6(1) and 24(2)(b)

Information and reports for submission to the Board by the Secretary of State on a reference to the Board under section 32(4) of the 1997 Act or section 39(4) of the 1991 Act

Part A: Information relating to the prisoner

1. The full name of the prisoner.

2. The date of birth of the prisoner.

3. The prison in which the prisoner is detained and details of other prisons in which the prisoner has been detained, the date and reasons for any transfer.

4. The date the prisoner was given the life sentence or extended sentence, details of the offence and any previous convictions.

5. The parole history, if any, of the prisoner, including details of any periods spent during the currency of the life sentence or extended sentence.

6. In the case of a referral under section 32(4) of the 1997 Act, the details of any life sentence plan prepared for the prisoner which have previously been disclosed to him.

7. The details of any previous recalls of the prisoner including the reasons for such recalls and subsequent re-release on licence.

8. The statement of reasons for the most recent recall which was given to the prisoner under section 32(3)(b) of the 1997 Act or section 39(3)(b) of the 1991 Act.

9. The details of any memorandum which the Board considered prior to making its recommendation for recall under section 32(1) of the 1997 Act or section 39(1) of the 1991 Act, or confirming the Secretary of States decision to recall under section 32(2) of the 1997 Act or section 39(2) of the 1991 Act, including the reasons why the Secretary of State considered it expedient in the public interest to recall that person before it was practicable to obtain a recommendation from the Board.

Part B: Reports relating to the prisoner

1. The reports considered by the Board prior to making its recommendation for recall under section 32(1) of the 1997 Act or section 39(1) of the 1991 Act, or its confirmation of the Secretary of States decision to recall under section 32(2) of the 1997 Act or section 39(2) of the 1991 Act.

2. Any reports considered by the Secretary of State in deciding to recall under section 32(2) of the 1997 Act or section 39(2) of the 1991 Act.

3. In the case of a referral under section 39(4) of the 1991 Act, any pre-sentence report examined by the sentencing court on the circumstances of the offence.

4. Any other relevant reports.

External link

Parole Board Rules on PB website