Parole Board chief forced out after Worboys case fiasco


The role of the Parole Board is to decide whether a prisoner is ready for release.

Prof Hardwick, who was told by Mr Gauke that his position was untenable in a meeting on Tuesday, said: "I don't think the Ministry of Justice is being correct in this".

The paper hailed a "victory" for press freedom after learning today that it had won its legal challenge, prompted by the Parole Board's decision to release black cab rapist John Worboys.

She said: "I have always said one of the reasons I am doing this is to give women the confidence that they can come forward and it will be dealt with".

The MoJ pointed out that Justice Secretary David Gauke had apologised to Worboys's victims and acknowledged the department's failings after the judgment was handed down.

I find myself acutely disappointed having listened to justice secretary David Gauke's statement on the Worboys fiasco (Parole Board chief forced to quit after court quashes move to free Worboys, 29 March); and while he may enjoy the "full confidence" of the prime minister, I dare say the same can not be said for the public.

Worboys' case will now be referred back to the Parole Board.

Much of the BBC interview centred on the judge's recommendation that the Parole Board should have examined more closely Worboys' other alleged offences.

The chairman of the Parole Board has been forced to quit as his organisation faces sweeping changes in the wake of the John Worboys ruling. He was convicted of 19 offences, including rape, against 12 victims but police say he may have attacked more than 100 women. I considered whether the decision was legally rational - in other words, a decision which no reasonable Parole Board could have made.

In light of the court's findings, Mr Gauke said he would be instructing officials to issue new guidance that "all relevant evidence of past offending should be included in the dossier submitted to the Parole Board, including possibly police evidence".

Immediate action has been taken to ensure that dossiers going before a...

The Parole Board is an independent body that carries out risk assessments on prisoners to determine whether they can be safely released into the community.

"On his watch the Parole Board cleared the long-standing backlog: dealing with 25,000 cases and holding over 7,000 oral hearings in 2017 whilst at the same time keeping the rate of serious further offending at less than 1%".

But given the Parole Board acts like a court with its hearings, there is a strong argument it should follow the principle of open justice, and there should be greater transparency with its operation. He championed increased engagement with victims. Britain's justice system is the best in the world but far from flawless, and rather than adopting an elitist and paternalistic attitude, we need to demonstrate humility and understand that public confidence in our system of justice is key to its effectiveness and sustainability.