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					                        FORMAL MEMORANDUM
               POST DECISION CORRESPONDENCE AND
                        REPRESENTATION


Background

1. Once a final decision has been made in a case and the Statement of Reasons
   has been issued to the applicant and other relevant parties, the case is closed.
   Generally, no further action is required other than the usual case closure
   procedures. Occasionally, however, later developments or other factors may
   mean that activity on the case continues after it has been closed. Three
   examples are set out below including guidance on how to proceed in such
   instances.


        POST-DECISION CORRESPONDENCE AND REPRESENTATIONS

Introduction

2. The Commission engages in correspondence with applicants throughout the
   process of case review and specifically invites a response to any provisional
   decision.  In many instances the applicant will cease contact with the
   Commission once a final decision has been made.

3. In some instances the applicant will continue contact either by phone, letter or
   personal visit after a final decision has been made. This can be to seek to
   persuade the Commission to review its decision, to submit further
   representations, to make a complaint or a combination of all three. Whichever
   way contact is made (eg phone, mail, personal visit), it is the responsibility of the
   Case Review Manager (CRM) to deal with the initial approach.

Procedure

4. If an applicant makes contact after the final decision the CRM will decide whether
   to make a direct response or to ask that a response be made under the
   provisions of this memorandum.

5. If the applicant is persistently making contact, the CRM should refer the matter to
   the Single Decision Maker or Lead Commissioner (LCM).

6. The Single Decision Maker or LCM may respond in one of three ways:


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   a. If the correspondence contains information which could be interpreted as a
      complaint against the Commission it will be treated as such by the Complaints
      Manager.

   b. If the correspondence contains material which is pertinent to the review and
      appears to raise new evidence or argument the Decision Maker or LCM will
      consider suggesting to the applicant that he/she submit a fresh application,
      submitting a report to COG if appropriate requesting prioritisation.

   c. If the correspondence raises no new issues the Decision Maker or LCM will
      write to the applicant explaining that the case has been closed and no further
      review is being carried out.

7. In extreme cases, where the applicant persistently continues to correspond
   despite being told that nothing new has been raised, it may become appropriate
   not to respond to that correspondence. In that event, the applicant will be
   informed in writing that any further correspondence will be read but, if it raises
   nothing new, not replied to. The CRM will note the Case Record accordingly and
   add a note to Vectus to the effect that further correspondence should be passed
   to the CRM, but need not be acknowledged.


                                  RE-APPLICATIONS

Introduction

8. Any renewed application received by an applicant whose case has been
   previously reviewed will be treated in the same manner as post-closure
   correspondence. Before it can be accepted as a new application and entered
   into Vectus, it will be screened by a Commissioner to determine whether it raises
   new issues not previously considered at appeal or by a previous review carried
   out by the Commission.

9. Renewed applications from applicants whose cases have previously been closed
   as ‘no appeal’ or ‘pending appeal cases’ do not fall within this category and are
   treated as a proper new application provided that the applicant has now been
   through the usual appeal process.

Stage 1

10. When an application is received, the Stage 1 team check on Vectus whether the
    Commission has had a previous application by the same applicant relating to the
    same conviction and/or sentence. If there has been a previous application (which
    was closed as either a Screen Review or a Stage 2 Review), the new application
    will not be immediately entered onto Vectus, but will be passed on to a Screen
    Commissioner first. The Stage 1 team log receipt of the reapplication with some
    additional details on the Reapplication Register.

11. The re-application will then be passed to a Screen Commissioner together with
    the file(s) of the previous application. The re-application must be considered for
    merit by a Commissioner other than the Commissioner who took the decision on
    the previous application. If the file(s) for the previous application has already
    been transferred to offsite storage, the Stage 1 team should direct the Screen
    Commissioner to the material which is available on the system.


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Commissioner Screen

12. The turnover time for making a decision on a re-application is 10 working days
    from initial receipt of the reapplication.

Re-application NOT accepted:

13. If the Commissioner makes a decision that the re-application raises nothing
    which has not already been considered in the Commission’s previous review, the
    re-application will not be accepted. The Commissioner will draft an appropriate
    letter informing the applicant of this decision (see example letter 1).

14. The re-application and associated correspondence - and internal documents
    where created - will be profiled to the applicant’s already existing reference
    number (in the case of several previous applications, the latest reference number
    is used). All papers are filed in the applicant’s existing file. If the latest file has
    already been transferred to off-site storage, it should not be recalled from there,
    but the papers should be filed in a specific file created for this purpose and
    maintained by the Stage 1 team.

15. The paperwork and any previous files are then passed back to the Stage 1 team.
    The Stage 1 team will place a note on Vectus (under the applicant’s previous
    reference number) to state that a reapplication has been received and that it has
    been refused.

16. The application form and supporting documents will be passed to the scanning
    team with the appropriate request form for scanning and profiling and finally filed
    as detailed above. A rejected application form should be profiled as ‘RE-
    APPLICATION – REFUSED’.

Re-application accepted:

17. If the Commissioner’s decision is to accept the re-application, it will be passed
    back to the Stage 1 team with a direction to set up the re-application on Vectus
    under a new reference number and to create a file. The usual procedure for
    setting up applications/re-applications (linked on Vectus) will now apply.

18. The start date for the application will be the date on which the Commissioner has
    made the decision, not the date of the receipt of the re-application.

19. The application form will be scanned and profiled by the Stage 1 team in the
    usual way.

20. Stage 1 will send a letter to the applicant to inform him/her that the application
    has been received and is being accepted. The letter will also indicate which
    route (Screen Review, Stage 2 review) the case will take (see example letters 2,
    3 and 4). This letter should be sent out no later than 10 working days from
    receipt of the initial application.

21. The application will then follow the usual process. There are however additional
    matters to be considered and determined by the Commissioner who screens the
    case:

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           Taking account of factors including the complexity of the case, the issues
            raised by the new application and any relevant background
            circumstances, whether the case should be allocated to the same, or a
            different, Case Review Manager (and Assigned Commissioner, if
            requiring a Stage 2 review).

           The fact that someone makes a new application is not in itself a reason
            for giving priority to the case, but it is something to be considered by the
            screening Commissioner, whether in response to a request or on his/her
            own initiative. The Commission’s policy on Priority Ranking will be applied
            in the ordinary way, recognising that a re-application creates a
            circumstance where ‘operational considerations’ in favour of giving priority
            may arise.


[Example letters are attached at appendix A]


            RE-OPENING OF CASES OTHER THAN BY RE-APPLICATION

23. Where a CRM who has worked on a completed case – or indeed any member of
    staff or Commissioner - is of the view that some later development or other factor
    suggests that the case should be reconsidered, he/she should refer the matter to
    the Single or Lead Commissioner (LCM) in the case or one of the Legal Advisors.

24. A Commissioner or Legal Advisor, whether on a reference under paragraph 23 or
    otherwise, who is of the view that there are grounds for re-opening a case, should
    submit a reasoned memorandum on the matter to the Chairman.

25. The Chairman, taking any further advice as appropriate, will decide:

   a) whether any additional work needs to be done and if so by whom;

   b) whether the former applicant should

       i)   be apprised of the situation and asked if he/she wishes to submit a new
            application or

       ii) be invited to submit such an application; and

   c) if the case was formerly determined by a case committee, whether the same
      committee should re-consider the case.

Administrative Procedure if a case is re-openend

26. Once the Chairman has approved the proposed re-opening of a case, the
    Commissioner or Legal Adviser who submitted the case to the Chairman for
    consideration should inform the Casework Support Manager of this decision. The
    Casework Support Manager will set up a new reference number on Vectus and
    create a new case file or will delegate this work to a member of the Stage 1 team.
    All relevant information concerning the terms of the agreed re-opening of the
    case should be supplied to the Casework Support Manager together with the file


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   for the previous application (if this is in the possession of the Commissioner or
   Legal Adviser) and any additional paperwork such as additional correspondence.

27. The Casework Support Manager will ensure that a note is placed on the new
    case log which records any decisions by the Chairman, such as who should carry
    out the further work or whether the same committee should re-consider the case.

28. The case will then be passed on to a Screen Commissioner for the usual
    screening procedure which identifies what public body documents are required
    and determines whether the case should be categorised as a screen review or a
    stage 2 review. The case will then continue to follow the usual route for new
    applications.

29. If priority is requested, the case will be submitted to COG for consideration. The
    usual request forms should be completed for this purpose.




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                                                                               APPENDIX A

                            RE-APPLICATION EXAMPLE LETTERS

     1) Letter to inform applicant that re-application will not be accepted (to be sent
        by a Commissioner):

     I write in connection with your above Application Form and the documents which
     were enclosed with it.

     You have previously applied to the Commission for review of your conviction and
     sentence in [insert month and year] (insert ref. no.). After a very full review the
     Commission came to a final decision that there were no grounds for referring your
     case back to the Court and explained to you in detail the reasoning which had led it
     to that conclusion. I enclose a copy of the Statement of Reasons which was sent to
     you on [insert date].
….
     In the view of the Commission your Application Form and enclosures of [insert date]
     raises no new point which has not already been considered by the Commission in the
     context of your previous application. In those circumstances the Commission sees
     no reason to depart from its view that there are no grounds for referring your case
     back to the Court and no new review of your conviction will be started.

     I am sending a copy of this letter to your current representative, [insert name].


     2) Letter if re-application is accepted and has been identified as a Screen case
        [note – over two pages]:

     Thank you for your recent application form, requesting a further review of this case.
     The Commission has made a decision to accept your renewed application for review
     of conviction/sentence.

     We have given your case a new reference number, shown above, which we will use
     whenever we contact you. If you need to contact us, it will be helpful if you use this
     new reference number. It is also important that we have an up to date address on
     our records. Please make sure that you tell us if you change your address.

     A Commissioner has carried out an initial screening process on your application. It is
     believed that the issues in your case can be reviewed thoroughly within a
     comparatively short timescale.

     I cannot say exactly when we will be able to make a start on your case but we would
     hope to do so fairly promptly and we will of course get in touch with you if we need to.
     I must point out that it may be that, once work is underway, we discover that the
     issues are more substantial than they appeared at first. If this were to be so, your
     case would have to join the list of those requiring a more time-consuming review.

     We would also be grateful if you could confirm whether you have a solicitor acting for
     you and, if you have, please give us their name and address. (delete if applicant is
     already represented)

     Further, our expectation is that, if you have nominated a non-legal representative,
     you will advise them of the contents of this letter. You should also tell them that if


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     they have any representations to make in support of your case, they must send them
     to the Commission immediately. (delete if applicant is legally represented)

     The Commission is committed to treating applications openly, fairly and seriously and
     to dealing with people in a polite and courteous manner. A leaflet outlining our formal
     complaints procedure is available on request.

     We will not routinely contact you again until we have something to report. If you have
     any questions in the interim period, please do not hesitate to contact us.


     3) Letter if re-application is accepted and has been identified as a Stage 2
        Review:

     Thank you for your recent application form, requesting a further review of this case.
     The Commission has made a decision to accept your renewed application for review
….   of conviction/sentence.

     We have given your case a new reference number, shown above, which we will use
     whenever we contact you. If you need to contact us, it will be helpful if you use this
     new reference number. It is also important that we have an up to date address on
     our records. Please make sure that you tell us if you change your address.

     A Commissioner has carried out an initial screening process on your case. It is
     considered that your case presents substantial issues that cannot be investigated
     within a comparatively short timescale, and therefore will have to join the list of those
     requiring a more time-consuming review. In the meantime, we will be taking steps to
     preserve all documents and material that we think may be needed for our review.

     In general, we deal with cases such as yours in date order of receipt. Following
     feedback from a consultation exercise, we decided, however, that some priority
     should be given to applicants who are in custody. We will also take into account
     other factors, such as applicant or witness health and age or evidence that might not
     keep. If you consider that there are factors (not already raised with the Commission)
     that we should take into account in deciding the priority your case should be given,
     then please do let us have details.

     We will not routinely contact you again until approximately six months before your
     case falls due to be allocated to a case review manager. If you have any questions
     in the interim period, please do not hesitate to contact us. As soon as we are able to
     start reviewing your case, we will write to let you know.

     4) Letter to applicant if re-application is accepted and no decision has been
        made about the route of the case:

     Thank you for your recent application form, requesting a further review of this case.
     The Commission has made a decision to accept your renewed application for review
     of conviction/sentence.

     We have given your case a new reference number, shown above, which we will use
     whenever we contact you. If you need to contact us, it will be helpful if you use this
     new reference number. It is also important that we have an up to date address on
     our records. Please make sure that you tell us if you change your address.



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We note that at present a solicitor does not represent you. You do not have to have
one to help you with your case but many applicants find it helpful. If you want to
instruct a solicitor but are not sure who to approach, then you may find the enclosed
list useful. It gives names and addresses of solicitors who have taken an interest in
our work in the past. (Delete if applicant says that he has a solicitor)

As soon as we believe that we have all the necessary material to hand, a
Commissioner will screen your case. The screening process identifies cases which
can be dealt with comparatively quickly, and takes into account the points that you
have already raised. It is very important that you tell us immediately if there is any
further information that you think is relevant. If the screening process reveals issues
which will require more time-consuming investigation, I regret that your case will have
to wait some time before it can be allocated to an individual caseworker.

We will write to you as soon as the Commissioner has completed this screening
process to explain how the review of your application will proceed. If you have any
questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Further, our expectation is that, if you have nominated a non-legal representative,
you will advise them of the contents of this letter. You should also tell them that if
they have any representations to make in support of your case, they must send them
to the Commission immediately.

The Commission is committed to treating applications openly, fairly and seriously and
to dealing with people in a polite and courteous manner. A leaflet outlining our formal
complaints procedure is available on request.




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