Napo Magazine - The Trade Union, Professional Association and campaigning organisation for Probation and Family Court staff news.

High Court issues final judgement on parole board hearings

A third, and final, judgement was issued by the High Court earlier this week in the ‘Bailey and Morris’ case, involving the earlier politically-motivated attempt to prevent Probation staff from expressing their professional opinion to the Parole Board

A third, and final, judgement was issued by the High Court earlier this week in the ‘Bailey and Morris’ case, involving the earlier politically-motivated attempt to prevent Probation staff from expressing their professional opinion to the Parole Board. This judgement related to the question of whether to initiate proceedings for contempt of court, with the outcome being that – for reasons set out in the judgement itself – it would not be in the public interest to do so.

Napo remain involved in monthly meeting with HMPPS representatives, along with other trade unions, and we have asked that this latest judgement, and any impact on our members going forward, is considered at the earliest opportunity. We have also requested that the full judgement (and annex, as discussed below) are made available to all HMPPS staff as part of any wider communication to all staff on this issue. In Napo’s view this would demonstrate the employer’s commitment to transparency and accountability at all levels of the organisation.

In the judgement reference was made to two pieces of evidence submitted to the Court, and that these were deemed to “raise issues of legitimate public interest and concern” to the extent they have been attached as an annex to the judgement. One of these, a witness statement provided on behalf of HMPPS, contains an account of the decision-making process and we would suggest, if possible, members read this document.

Napo’s view is that this statement provides the latest – and one of the most compelling – pieces of evidence to support the removal of Probation from the Civil Service. It brutally exposes the complete failure of senior HMPPS figures to meaningfully engage with us and others, including the Parole Board, and their utter refusal to acknowledge the very clear warnings and concerns provided to them, as well as how these changes would impact on our members and the wider community.

HMPPS maintain they are committed to learn the lessons from their many mistakes made in relation to this issue. Napo strongly suggest a similarly flawed approach is currently being taken by HMPPS on other matters, for instance the ‘One HMPPS’ project and the changes to the delivery and content of accredited programmes, which they are attempting to impose currently. It remains for HMPPS to demonstrate to us whether their assurances are anything other than empty words.

Bailey and Morris Judgement 13 06 2023

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