Opaque Parole Board Protects Disgraced Panel Members

Nick Hardwick has rightly resigned as the chairman of the Parole Board. Martin Jones, the Parole Board chief executive, remains in post and is declining to answer journalists’ questions this afternoon. The Parole Board says the three anonymous panel members who made the original decision to release Worboys will not be named and the buck will not be passed to them. The disgraced psychologist who approved Worboys for release has changed her phone number to avoid questions from journalists. These so-called experts have been judged in the High Court to have made an irrational decision. They have brought the Parole Board into disrepute. The Parole Board is for all intents and purposes a court, in any other court in the land those making judgements are named. This opaqueness has to end. The Parole Board panel members responsible for this abject humiliation of their organisation must go so the same mistakes can never be made again…

Gauke Bottles Worboys Legal Challenge as Sadiq Launches Judicial Review Proceedings

On Sunday the government said it would do everything possible to keep John Worboys behind bars, well it’s taken them five days to break that promise – David Gauke has bottled his judicial review. This really is weak from the new Justice Secretary, especially since JR experts including Lord Pannick said he would have had a good chance of success. Guido understands that Sadiq Khan is instead going to launch judicial review proceedings of his own. Khan has instructed lawyers to send a pre-action protocol letter for judicial review to Nick Hardwick, the chair of the Parole Board. The Mayor of London stepping up, unlike the Justice Secretary…

The MoJ have handled this situation farcically from the beginning. It’s obvious Gauke knows the decision to release Worboys is wrong otherwise he would never have considered JRing it. And he let victims believe he would stop him from coming out. There is a lot more the Justice Secretary could do to keep his promise to victims and yet, in the pocket of his civil servants, he has so far done nothing. And now Sadiq has taken the initiative…

Gauke Must Tell Parole Board to Explain Worboys Decision

Justice Secretary David Gauke jumps straight into his new job with a statement on John Worboys at 1:15pm. Over the weekend we learned that the Parole Board was considering publishing a rationale of its decision to release Worboys, though nothing has been forthcoming. This seems an obvious opportunity for Gauke to take the initiative and put some pressure on the Parole Board. As Patrick O’Flynn astutely points out, the Worboys story is of far greater interest to the public than the disastrous reshuffle currently grabbing the headlines. And so far Richard Burgon has been doing better than the government with his response…

Gauke has an obvious opportunity to win a positive headline, help reassure the public and victims and get the Parole Board to do the right thing and explain its decision. No brainer, right…

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