Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Rules)

These rules prescribe the practice and procedure to be followed by single Parole Commissioners and panels of Commissioners in dealing with the hearing of cases of life prisoners under the Life Sentences (Northern Ireland) Order 2001 and indeterminate and extended custodial prisoners under the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 (“the 2008 Order”). They include provision for:

(a) the appointment of, and procedures to be followed by single Commissioners appointed under rule 12(1) and panels of Commissioners appointed under rule 12(2);

(b) the making of directions by single Commissioners and the chairman of a panel for the conduct of a case and appeals against such directions to the Chief Commissioner appointed under paragraph 1(4) of Schedule 4 to the 2008 Order;

(c) the consideration of a prisoner’s release by single Commissioners and panels of Commissioners;

(d) the appointment of a special advocate in cases involving confidential information;

(e) the reduction of time limits to permit the early hearing of cases involving recalled life, indeterminate custodial and extended custodial prisoners and extended custodial prisoners sentenced to short minimum custodial periods.

Rule 32 provides for the revocation of the Life Sentence Review Commissioners’ Rules 2001 except in relation to life prisoners’ cases listed under those rules prior to the coming into operation of these rules.