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Persistence and Time: A Success Story

Emma McClure recently represented a recalled client where the Parole Board took much longer than the rules allow to provide a written decision following oral hearing.

Parole decisions are not given on the day and the Parole Board have 14 days in which to provide the decision to the prisoner. This can be a particularly stressful time for clients given the uncertainty of what the outcome could be.

Unfortunately, this client did not receive his decision for almost two months. When the decision came, it was a knockback which was surprising as there had been support for release.

Emma had kept a detailed record of the hearing and was able to identify a number of deficiencies without the need to seek a recording of the hearing despite the passage of time.

There was some indication that the decision had not been written until some time after the hearing and Emma was able to clearly highlight these. Emma submitted a reconsideration application highlighting all of the issues with the written decision.

Reconsideration applications require a knowledge of what public law challenges are possible and current case law. This is a separate area of law from purely parole work and an area of expertise that Emma and the SL5 team are able to assist with.

The Panel Member undertaking the reconsideration agreed that the oral hearing panel had made a fundamental error and agreed that the case needed to be reconsidered.

Emma’s client will now get a fresh hearing which will be expedited.

This case highlights the importance of continuing to push and represent a client’s interests, even after a hearing has taken place.


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