Procedural Propriety Exercised By Administrative Bodies

997 WordsMar 14, 20164 Pages
The central issue in this case had been the lack of procedural appropriateness exercised by administrative bodies, namely the Parole Board. Here, the principle of fairness was first expounded by Lord Smith in R (Smith and West) v Parole Board , and Lord Reed’s judgement in the 2013 case had been an amplification of that principle in a clearer framework: decision makers, prior to exercising their capacity to decide individual lifelines, are to apply fairness into the procedure of decision-making wherever required. The previous guidance by the Parole Board clearly lacked the element of fairness imposed by the common law, prioritising administrative efficiency by making decisions on paper , coupled with the failure to consider relevant representations to account for the appellants. This clearly frustrates the fundamental reasons of fair procedure, namely to respect human dignity and to reach sensible judgements based on all evidence and circumstance surrounding the case. Where a particular right of an individual is at stake, relative to its importance and fundamental nature, a higher degree of procedural fairness is required. It would be worth noting that Osborn does not lay down a general principle of fairness; Lord Reed had commented that fairness was to be applied in light of the facts and what is at stake, and it is impossible to list down all of the possible scenarios in which fairness applied in prison contexts. Here, the appellant Osborn’s right to liberty — which
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