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Out of Court Disposal Scrutiny Panel

In 2013, the Commissioner set up the Out of Court Disposals Scrutiny Panel to independently scrutinise the use of Out of Court Disposals in response to public concerns about their appropriate use. 


The role of the Panel is to ensure that the use of Out of Court Disposals are:

  • appropriate and proportionate,
  • consistent with national and local policy, and
  • considers the victims’ wishes where appropriate.

The Panel does not review individual decisions but assess their appropriate use, highlight examples of good practice and make recommendations for improvement. The Panel consider performance information, and changes to legislation, policy and practice to support them in their role.

The overarching aim of the Panel is to bring transparency to the use of Out of Court Disposals in order to increase understanding and confidence in their use.

The Panel is chaired by an independent member of the public, Jonathan Mortimer, who is distinct from any agency that may be represented on the Panel, undertaking the role in a voluntary capacity. Jonathan is a solicitor based at Raworth’s in Harrogate.

When scrutinising the use of Out of Court Disposals, the following overarching principles should normally apply:

  • The outcome should be proportionate to the crime.
  • The expectations of the victim should be considered when deciding an outcome.
  • The causes of the criminal behaviour should be considered and any available intervention provided.
  • The community impact of crime should influence the outcome.
  • The use of restorative justice, where available, and community remedy where appropriate, can be a condition of an Out-of-Court Disposal.
  • The relevant evidential threshold must be met.
  • The history of the offender must be considered.
  • Where required, admissions of offending behaviour.

Terms of reference


  1. Introductions/Apologies
  2. Minutes of the last meeting, issues arising and action points
  3. Report of previous sampling exercises from previous meeting
  4. Review of cases selected for this meeting – [Theme]
  5. Future Sampling
  6. Training
  7. Membership of the Panel
  8. Any other business
  9. Date of next meeting

Meeting dates


  • 11 January
  • 11 April
  • 18 July
  • 24 October


  • 30 January

Community member – Out of Court Disposal Panel – Role description

Annual reports

Contact details