Breach of the Rules of Natural Justice

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25/05/2020

In KA v Human Givens Institute [2020] EWHC (QB), KA was registered as a therapist./counsellor.  A complaint had been received alleging sexual misconduct.  KA denied the serious allegation.  KA asserted that the Professional Disciplinary Committee (Committee) had to be independent and impartial.  The Committee appointed to hear the allegations had been involved in the matter at an earlier stage of the process and had made comments and views on the allegations.  The Human Givens Institute (HGI) refused to appoint a different Committee and confirmed that they would press ahead with the hearing.

KA issued a claim in the High Court and an application for a mandatory injunction arguing that the court would imply a term that the HGI had been subject to the rules of natural justice.  This required HGI to uphold procedural fairness.  HGI had failed to appoint an impartial and neutral Committee and therefore the court should order an injunction requiring HGI to do so.

Andrews J held that the court would imply a term that HGI had to comply with the rules of natural justice.  The Judge declared that it would be a breach of the rules of natural justice in the circumstances of this case for HGI to proceed with a hearing before the same Committee.

Andrews J made an order that the hearing must be rescheduled before a differently constituted Committee on a date at which KA is able to attend.

Simon Butler was instructed by BSG Solicitors LLP to represent KA.

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