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I think that this is getting out of hand.

How about this?

Criminal trials are (except in very special circumstances) held in public and fully - if the press is interested - reported. This is because the accused, his victims and the public each have an interest in the process and its result. This may include imprisonment - in which case the facts and reasons are publicly debated and expressed.

Proceedings before the Parole Board are the reverse of the criminal trial as they are to test the suitability of the prisoner for release. Once again the prisoner, his victims and the public each has an interest in the process and its outcome. Yet here the decision making is at best opaque. This gives naysayers and axe grinders, as well as the genuinely concerned (including me), free reign to comment in near total ignorance.

For example, do we know if Mr Worboys has been in an open prison or given day or other release on licence? I don’t, but I may have missed it.

The trial and PB processes should be conducted in separation from government interference as at present. They should continue to be subject to comment. But, dare I say, it is better if the comment is informed - or if ignorant that it can be corrected by reference to the public record.

So, I wouldn’t oppose PB hearings being in public - except in special circumstances- or reported. Nor for evidence to be given formally. A trial if you like. After all the victims had to face one.

The rules and procedures would need revision, but that is a matter of detail.

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