LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR TEACHER: DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS
A teacher was entitled to legal representation in disciplinary proceedings which might lead to a referral to the Secretary of State for Children School and Families, who could bar him from teaching children.
The Court of Appeal (Lord Justice Laws, Lord Justice Wilson and Lord Justice Goldring) so held in a reserved judgment on January 20, 2009, when dismissing an appeal by the Governors of X School against a decision of Mr Stephen Morris, QC, in the Queen’s Bench Division on March 18, 2009, allowing the application of the claimant, G, for judicial review of the governors’ decisions refusing to allow him legal representation in disciplinary proceedings.
G was dismissed and his conduct reported to the secretary of state.
The judge held, inter alia, that since the proceedings were not proceedings in respect of a criminal charge, article 6.3(c) and (d) of the European Convention on Human Rights, guaranteeing the right to a fair trial, did not apply, but that the claimant was entitled to the procedural protection of legal representation.
LORD JUSTICE LAWS said that where an individual was subject or two or more sets of proceedings, or phases of a proceeding, and a civil right or obligation would be determined in one of them, he could, by force of article 6, enjoy procedural rights in relation to any of the others if the outcome of that other would have a substantial influence or effect on the determination of the civil right or obligation.
Article 6 did not necessarily entail a right of representation in relation to the determination of a civil right or obligation, but might do so. Given the effect an advocate might have, article 6 required that the claimant had been entitled to legal representation.
Court of Appeal
Regina (G) v Governors of X School and Others
“The Times”: 23.2.10