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The High Court has handed down an important decision regarding the reconsideration mechanism introduced under the Parole Board Rules 2019 (“2019 Rules”).

The 2019 Rules provide that decisions on release by the Parole Board will be provisional for a period of 21 days.  During this time, an application can be made to the Parole Board by the prisoner or the Secretary of State inviting it to reconsider its provisional decision on the basis of rationality or procedural fairness.

The Claimant brought his claim on two grounds.  By the first ground, he alleged that, in introducing this procedure, the Secretary of State had unlawfully used powers which permit the making of procedural rules to make substantive amendments to the powers of the Parole Board.  By the second ground,  the Claimant argued that the 2019 Rules are in breach of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The High Court dismissed the claim on both grounds.

 Sir James Eadie QC and Jason Pobjoy acted for the Secretary of State for Justice.  A copy of the judgment is available here.