Permission granted in Parole Board independence case

7 August 2018

A serving prisoner, Paul Wakenshaw, has been granted permission, by Mr Justice Mostyn sitting in the High Court, to challenge the independence of the Parole Board in a claim for judicial review.

The claim follows on from the removal of the Parole Board Chair, Professor Nick Hardwick, who was asked to resign by Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke MP, in the wake of the John Worboys case. Permission has been granted on the basis that there is a lack of security of tenure for Parole Board members (including the Chair) as evidenced by the circumstances in which Professor Hardwick offered his resignation (see paragraphs 21 to 27 of the judgment in particular).

Mr Wakenshaw’s case is that it was constitutionally improper for the Secretary of State to have requested that the head of a judicial body to resign without any procedure being followed to determine whether there were grounds for his removal. A full hearing of the claim will take place in due course.

Mr Wakenshaw is represented by Garden Court North Chambers’ Matthew Stanbury and by Tim Owen QC, instructed by Dean Kingham of Swain and Co Solicitors.

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