After changes to UK law on 30 June 2022, victims of crimes, members of society and the media can ask for parole hearings to be heard in public for the first time.
This change comes within significant reforms to boost public confidence and transparency within the UK justice system after the release of a serious offender from prison in 2018.
The idea is to put “public protection at the heart of decision-making and ensure prisoners who still pose a risk are kept behind bars.”
Any decisions for a serious offender’s release or move to an open prison will go through the Deputy Prime Minister, currently Dominic Raab, before the Parole Board’s final decision.
However, the Deputy Prime Minister will also be able to challenge Parole Board decisions and give his view early in the process.
Raab commented on the change, saying:
“This is the first step in our reforms to the parole process. We are making proceedings more transparent, so victims and the public can see justice being done. I am also making sure there is one, crystal clear, recommendation from the Justice Secretary when it comes to the risk of release of the most serious offenders.”
The new measures take effect from 21 July 2022, and all judgements will consider the interest and safety of the victims.
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Associate – Criminal Department
As a member of the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme (CLAS), holder of the Higher Rights of Audience (HRA) qualification and duty solicitor for the Coventry area, I regularly represent clients in a wide range of criminal cases, including road traffic offences.
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