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Parole Commissioners’ decision was unlawful

This successful judicial review action was brought by another stakeholder, The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ).  We also provided the financial funding to allow this case to be brought.  Delivering its judgment on 15th May, The High Court ruled that the decision to deny CAJ access to hearings on whether to release a prisoner from custody was unlawful.

The Court held that the Northern Ireland Parole Commissioners (PCNI) had misdirected themselves in law in refusing to let CAJ attend hearings as an observer.  The Court stated:

“Even in circumstances where there is an exception to the general principle of open justice, there is still a public interest in proceedings being as transparent and accountable as possible.”

This too is a significant judgment as it will clearly have an impact on the wider policy of PCNI regarding applications to attend Parole Commissioners’ hearings. 

Again we hope to cover this judgment in more detail in the near future. 

For coverage from the BBC click here

Prisoners' Rights