Skip to main content

Case details

R (on the application of Gourlay) (AP) (Appellant) v Parole Board (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2018/0166

Case summary


Should the Parole Board be considered a court? If so, what are the consequences of this when considering whether or not to grant a costs order against the Parole Board?


The Appellant is serving a life sentence in prison for rape. His minimum term was completed on 1 August 2005. On 10 March 2014, the Parole Board decided not to direct his release on licence and not to recommend that he be transferred to open conditions. The Appellant successfully challenged the latter part of this recommendation by way of judicial review, in proceedings in which the Parole Board played no part. The Appellant sought an order for costs against the Parole Board. Following the receipt of written submissions, the Court declined to make this order. The Court of Appeal upheld this decision.

Judgment appealed

[2017] EWCA Civ 1003



Robert Gourlay


Parole Board



Lord Reed, Lord Hodge, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lady Arden, Lord Leggatt

Hearing start date

15 Jul 2020

Hearing finish date

16 Jul 2020

Watch hearing
15 Jul 2020 Morning session Afternoon session
16 Jul 2020 Morning session

Judgment details

Judgment date

4 Dec 2020

Neutral citation

[2020] UKSC 50

Judgment details