Oral Hearings are a mechanism used by the Parole Board to determine whether prisoners can be released either from their sentence (Parole) or back out onto licence (Recall).

On oral hearing is held at the prison where the person in question is located. The Parole Board attend (this can be 1- 3 people), the prisoner and Probation from both inside and outside the prison. As legal representatives we also attend with the prisoner to represent their interests in an attempt to persuade the Parole Board to release them.

From the date of the decision to hold an oral hearing until it actually takes place can be anything up to 9 months. During this time, more reports are written and sometime assessments completed. There are times when hearing must be adjourn or deferred and this is a time when a prisoner relies on their legal representative to make sure that everything that happens does not impact negatively on the prisoner or the future outcome.