By: Leanne Woods


When can a dishonest professional receive a lesser sanction of suspension?

15 November 2018 by

iraq war human rights compensation civilian Camp Bassa compensation damages conflict of laws international humanitarian lawSolicitors Regulation Authority v James, MacGregor and Naylor [2018] EWHC 3058 (Admin) — read judgment here.

In three appeals, the Divisional Court considered the circumstances in which a solicitor might avoid being struck off the Roll after findings of dishonesty in disciplinary proceedings. In short, if you are a dishonest solicitor, striking off will be hard to avoid. The impact on other regulated professions is up for grabs.

 

Facts

In three separate cases the Solicitors Regulation Authority (the ‘SRA’) appealed against the sanction decision of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (the ‘SDT’). In each case the SDT made findings of dishonesty against a solicitor but then found exceptional circumstances that justified a lesser sanction of suspension rather than striking off. In fact, in all three cases the suspension imposed was itself suspended. The SRA argued that there were no exceptional circumstances and the sanctions were unduly lenient.

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Simplicity could have been a virtue for the well-meaning PSNI…

2 February 2017 by

Flags parade belfast.jpg

Sometimes, in law as in life, keeping things simple is the best approach. Unfortunately for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (‘PSNI’), the Supreme Court found in DB v Chief Constable of PSNI [2017] UKSC 7 that the Force had made both the law and its life, in policing parades in Belfast, more complicated than it needed to be.

This appeal from a judicial review decision was all about the PSNI’s powers, and its understanding of its own powers, to police illegal parades in Belfast. Fittingly, the judgement was delivered by Lord Kerr, Northern Ireland’s former Lord Chief Justice, who (as Wikipedia reliably tells me) is an alumni of Queen’s University, Belfast. The underlying facts will be familiar to anyone with a passing interest in the knock-about politics of Northern Ireland and they drew on those most pressing of issues there: parades and flags.

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Best interests, hard choices: The Baby C case

19 November 2015 by

Royal courtsJudgments in best interests cases involving children often make for heart-wrenching reading. And so it was in Bolton NHS Foundation Trust v C (by her Children’s Guardian) [2015] EWHC 2920 (Fam), a case which considered Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health guidance, affirming its approach was in conformity with Article 2 and Article 3 ECHR. It also described, in the clearest terms, the terrible challenges facing C’s treating clinicians and her parents.
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