Direction to release
If the panel is satisfied that the level of risk the prisoner poses is no more than minimal, then it is required by law to direct that the prisoner should be released. This decision may be taken by a majority but will be presented as the decision of the entire panel. The Prison Service must comply with the panel’s direction to release.
Direction not to release
If the panel is not satisfied that the level of risk the prisoner poses is minimal, it must make clear in its decision that no direction for release is being made and provide reasons for this decision. The panel will recommend when the case should be reviewed again and may also make recommendations as to what should be done during the course of imprisonment in order to minimise the risk of serious harm posed by the prisoner.
Whichever decision the panel makes, it must give its reasons in writing. Neither the prisoner nor the Prison Service can appeal against the Commissioners’ decision though it is open to either party to seek to challenge it by way of judicial review.