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England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions >> AT, R (On the Application Of) v University of Leicester  EWHC 4593 (Admin) (19 November 2014)
Cite as:  EWHC 4593 (Admin)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF AT||Claimant|
|UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER||Defendant|
WordWave International Ltd (a Merrill Corporation Company)
8th Floor, 165 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2DY
Tel: 020 7421 4043 Fax: 020 7404 1424
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Miss A McColgan (instructed by Watson Burton) appeared on behalf of the Defendant
Crown Copyright ©
"I consider the fundamental misconception in the claimant's case to be that he is challenging a process, a disciplinary one, which is incomplete."
This reasoning is developed further in the eight paragraphs which follow, including this important passage from paragraph 3:
"I consider that, as a general rule, the fairness of any process of this kind is to be assessed when it has been completed."
"Whatever the outcome, there were lessons which could be learned for the student population as a whole and maybe the university."
"Perhaps opportunities have been missed to explain the exact nature of the allegations to the claimant at an earlier stage. However, I also said in this part of the conversation that I was not suggesting that the claimant should have been given the names of the complainants, because I absolutely stood by the right of students to raise concerns anonymously, because if not, the whole of the concerns process would have become ineffective."
The claimant's case
"A reasonable opportunity of learning what is alleged against him and of putting forward his own case in answer to it."
Further reliance is placed on the Secretary of State for the Home Department v MB  UKHL 46 at paragraph 29 and Kanda v Government of Malaya  AC 322 at 337. She further refers to ex parte Doody  1 AC 531 in which Lord Mustill noted at page 564 that:
"The right to make representations is of little value unless the maker has knowledge in advance of the considerations which, unless effectively challenged, will or may lead to an adverse decision. This proposition of common sense will in many instances require an explicit disclosure of the substance of the matters on which the decision maker intends to proceed."
"Medical schools should encourage students to be represented at fitness to practise hearings or to have a supporter present. Medical schools' fitness to practise procedures should set out how this will work in practise. The preparation and support must protect the student's rights in line with the Human Rights Act."
Miss Walker on AT's behalf construes this guidance as necessarily falling in line with rule 33 of the General Medical Council (Fitness to Practise) Rules 2004, contending that such a prohibition on the availability of legal representation contravened ordinary common law principles of procedural fairness and contravened provisions of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The defendant's case
That is my judgment
"Giving effect to the general rule, I'm provisionally minded to order that the claimant pay the defendant's costs. This discrete order will take effect within 14 days, subject to any representations in writing."