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A Critical Analysis of R (Smith and West) v Parole Board - Essay Example

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he criminal cases and proceedings often present with complexities that are ingrained in the structure and nature of the articles and clauses of the constitution and the common law…
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A Critical Analysis of R (Smith and West) v Parole Board
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Download file to see previous pages The discussion and analysis of such cases reveals much needed lessons that should be incorporated in the future cases to prevent the mistakes and misjudgments made during the cases under discussion. One such case is R (West and Smith) v Parole1. This paper purports to discuss and analyze this case in order to understand the effects of its implications on criminal and administrative law. Background: in 2005, the Parole Board recalled the released of two prisoners, West and Smith, on the grounds that they had not acted in accordance with their conditions, and had breached the grounds on which they had made parole, posing a risk to the safety of the society at large2. West was a short-term prisoner who had been recalled on the grounds that he had spent one night away from the designated location without notifying his supervisor, and had been allegedly drunk and involved in the breaking down of a door at a girl’s hostel­3. Smith, a long-term prisoner, had been recalled on the pretext that he had proven incapable of fighting his habit of drug abuse on two occasions of his parole even after he had been given a written warning after the first incident4, and since he had been sentenced to prison due to a sexual crime5, his inability to live in accordance with his parole conditions were deemed as a safety risk to the society6. Analysis: The case under discussion presents a complex scenario in that it depends upon variables from the statutes of the common law and the Conventions of the Human Rights Act 19987 both directly and indirectly, and it is, at times, difficult to determine which of the clauses of the said statutes are applicable to the case. For this reason, the discussion and analysis of the case is subsequently divided into two parts; the first part deals with the application and relevance of the statutes of the common law, and the second part would deal with the articles of Convention as they apply to the case. Common Law: this subsection of the analysis would determine whether the pertinent case enjoys the benefit and protection afforded by the common law. The right to an oral hearing is a fundamental right provided by the common law when the Parole Board recalls prisoners released on probation under license due to any reason as deemed appropriate by the parole supervisor and the Parole Board8. The nature of the oral hearing is essentially an interview session, which might be informal in nature as this is considered sufficient9, with the option of presenting witnesses and new evidence in light of new facts or established facts the implications of which might have been changed due to influence of new developments in the case upon probation release of the prisoner10. The prisoner upon recall and once in custody is appraised of the right to file an appeal in order to challenge the Parole Board’s decision of recall11. This appeal is usually and mostly in the form of a written application directed to the Parole Board12. However, the prisoner has to be explicitly informed of his right to request an oral hearing if he feels that his case would be better presented by direct communication with the Board, or if he feels the need to present new evidence or witnesses13. Similarly, it is mandatory upon the Board to arrange an oral hearing if the need for such an arrangement is felt in light of any change in the established facts, or the implications of those facts due to a change in the circumstances of the prisoner upon his release; the need to present witnesses; or if the Board, due to any reason, feels that a fairer ruling would be only possible if the appellant was to engage in oral hearing14. It is generally considered that in many cases the mere use of a written appl ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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