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Leading case on the statutory “public protection” test, to be applied by the Parole Board when considering whether to direct the release of a prisoner. Nicholas Chapman acted for the Parole Board.
The Divisional Court confirmed that the statutory test does not involve a balancing exercise but, rather, requires a binary assessment of whether release would result in a more than minimal risk of harm to the public. It also held that there is no temporal limitation on the period of risk which the Board is tasked with assessing.
The case was only the second in which the Secretary of State for Justice has applied for judicial review of a decision of the Parole Board.
The judgment can be viewed here.