The decision of a panel of the Parole Board to direct the release on licence of the taxi driver and serial sex offender Mr John Worboys must have seemed, to most members of the public unfamiliar with the legal framework within which the Parole Board is required to work, to have been incomprehensible and a serious blunder.
In this article, 'Britain in Europe' expert HH Jeremy Roberts QC, formerly a Judge at the Central Criminal Court and now a member of the Parole Board, is demonstrating that the panel's mistake (as the High Court found it to be) was not of the magnitude which must have appeared to the public: it was largely due to the extreme difficulties faced by the Parole Board, in a case like Mr Worboys', when it comes to applying the legal principles which govern its performance of its role in the criminal justice system. He also argues that the issues with which the High Court was faced were themselves complex and difficult, and that the approach which the court concluded the panel should have followed is not without its own difficulties.
Read the full analysis here.
This is the third piece of analysis in this series of commentaries on Worboys and judicial independence. The first two were published on the blog of the British Academy:
Three key issues about the Parole Board raised by the Worboys case (26 February 2018)
The High Court's decision on the Worboys case (30 March 2018)
HH Jeremy Roberts discussed the Worboys case's ramifications for judicial independence at the British Academy conference on ‘Challenges to Judicial Independence in Times of Crisis’ (8-9 May 2018). The conference was co-convened by BiE's director Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos (with Dr Yvonne Mc-Dermott Rees, an Associate Prof at the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law).