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Administrative Court gives guidance on police misconduct proceedings in two recent cases

13th May 2021

In R (Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset) v Police Misconduct Tribunal & Archer [2021] EWHC 1125 (Admin) the Chief Constable challenged a misconduct panel’s decision not to dismiss an officer who used a racist epithet in the workplace by way of judicial review. While the Chief Constable’s claim was unsuccessful, the Administrative Court gave useful guidance on the test to be applied by panel chairs in deciding which witnesses should be called to give oral evidence at a hearing – see [69] – [70]; [72]; [82]. In doing so, the Court accepted submissions made by Elliot Gold on behalf of the Claimant and James Berry on behalf of the IOPC who intervened in the case to make submission on that discrete issue.

In R (Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire) v Police Appeals Tribunal & Flint [2021] EWHC 1248 (Admin), the Chief Constable challenged the PAT’s decision to reinstate an officer who had been dismissed for gross misconduct. The Chief Constable succeeded and the PAT’s decision was quashed. The Court accepted submissions made by John Beggs QC and James Berry on behalf of the Chief Constable that when the PAT substitutes its own sanction for that imposed by the first instance panel, it must follow the same approach to sanction as required of the panel – see [72] – [77]. The need for that approach to be followed by the first instance panel was established in R (Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police) v Police Misconduct Tribunal & Roscoe (2018), where James Berry acted for the successful Chief Constable.

John, Elliot and James frequently act for all parties in judicial review challenges to decisions in the police misconduct jurisdiction and more generally, as well as appearing in first instance misconduct hearings and appeals from misconduct proceedings.

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