Oral Hearing in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • R (West) v Parole Board; R (Smith) v Parole Board (No 2) (Conjoined Appeals)
    • House of Lords
    • 27 Jan 2005

    It may often be very difficult to address effective representations without knowing the points which are troubling the decision-maker. The prisoner should have the benefit of a procedure which fairly reflects, on the facts of his particular case, the importance of what is at stake for him, as for society.

    There is no absolute rule that there must be an oral hearing automatically in every case. Where, however, there are issues of fact, or where explanations are put forward to justify actions said to be a breach of licence conditions, or where the officer's assessment needs further probing, fairness may well require that there should be an oral hearing.

  • Booth v Parole Board
    • Supreme Court (Scotland)
    • 09 Oct 2013

    Generally, the board should hold an oral hearing whenever fairness to the prisoner requires such a hearing in the light of the facts of the case and, as was said in West, the importance of what is at stake. The board should consider whether its independent assessment of risk, and of the means by which it should be managed and addressed, may benefit from the closer examination which an oral hearing can provide. The assumption must be that an oral hearing has the potential to make a difference.

    That is likely to be the position in cases where such an assessment may depend upon the view formed by the board (including its members with expertise in psychology or psychiatry) of characteristics of the prisoner which can best be judged by seeing or questioning him in person, or where a psychological assessment produced by the Ministry of Justice is disputed on tenable grounds, or where the board may be materially assisted by hearing evidence, for example from a psychologist or psychiatrist. That is likely to be the position in cases where such an assessment may depend upon the view formed by the board (including its members with expertise in psychology or psychiatry) of characteristics of the prisoner which can best be judged by seeing or questioning him in person, or where a psychological assessment produced by the Ministry of Justice is disputed on tenable grounds, or where the board may be materially assisted by hearing evidence, for example from a psychologist or psychiatrist.

  • R (H) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 09 Sep 2008

    Clearly oral hearings are not required in all or even most cases, but importantly the context in which procedural fairness is being considered is determinative. One considers the interests at stake and also the extent to which an oral hearing will guarantee better decision-making in terms of the uncovering of facts, the resolution of issues, and the concerns of the decision-maker. Cost and efficiency must also be considered, often on the other side of the balance.

  • Lloyd (A.P.) and Others (A.P.) v McMahon
    • House of Lords
    • 12 Mar 1987

    To use the phrase which better expresses the underlying concept, what the requirements of fairness demand when any body, domestic, administrative or judicial, has to make a decision which will affect the rights of individuals depends on the character of the decision-making body, the kind of decision it has to make and the statutory or other framework in which it operates.

  • DM v Secretary of State for Justice
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 12 May 2011

    Whether an oral hearing is required in an individual case will be fact specific. But oral hearings are plainly not required in all cases; indeed, oral hearings will be few and far between. Advantages may be improved decision-making, bringing CART into contact with those who have direct dealings with the offender and the offender himself; an oral hearing may also assist in the resolution of disputed issues.

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Legislation
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Books & Journal Articles
  • DOCUMENTATION SURVEY
    • Nbr. 23-2, February 1967
    • Journal of Documentation
    • 171-178
    This book is an edited version of the proceedings of the hearing of the case in which the Net Book Agreement was successfully defended against an attack made under the Restrictive Practices Act. Th...
  • FINAL JUDGMENT. THE LAST LAW LORDS AND THE SUPREME COURT by ALAN PATERSON
    • Nbr. 41-4, December 2014
    • Journal of Law and Society
    ...... instances where the law lords changed their minds between the hearing and when judgment in a case was finally given. As with his earlier study, ... change over the decades following The Law Lords is in the length of oral hearings, which has decreased significantly. Thirty or forty years ago the ......
  • NATIONAL IMPORTANCE: THE DECISION TO REFUSE AN EXPORT LICENCE: Heffel Gallery Ltd v. Attorney General of Canada.
    • Vol. 23 Nbr. 4, December 2018
    • Art Antiquity & Law
    • Mason, Katharine
    ......An oral hearing was scheduled before a three-member panel. One member of the panel ......
  • Investigation of Corrupt Practices: Government Inquiries and Investigations
    • Nbr. 5-1, March 1997
    • Journal of Financial Crime
    • 50-55
    Elaborate systems have been established to investigate and control the operation of government. These enable central government to deal with internal problems. But they also have important roles in...
    ......4 Tribuna l hearing s ar e i n publi c unles s ther e ar e publi c interes t reason s ... Witnesse s wer e als o questione d orall y b y th e Counse l t o th e Inquiry , Presile y Baxendal e QC , ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
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