West Law Report

Respect for domestic tribunal

Posted in Times Law Report by mrkooenglish on February 2, 2009

From The TimesJanuary 15, 2009

Respect for domestic tribunal
Court of Appeal
Published January 15, 2009
Salsbury v The Law Society

Absent any error of law, the High Court had to pay considerable respect to the decision of an expert and informed domestic tribunal.

The Court of Appeal (Sir Mark Potter, President, Lady Justice Arden and Lord Justice Jackson) so held on November 25, 2008, when allowing an appeal by the Law Society against the decision of the Divisional Court (Lord Justice Dyson and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones) ([2008] EWHC 889) to quash the striking-off order made on December 18, 2007, by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, against Brendan John Salsbury and to substitute a three-year suspension.

LORD JUSTICE JACKSON said that the leading case was Bolton v Law Society ([1994] 1 WLR 512). Reviewing the later authorities, his Lordship concluded that Bolton remained good law subject to the qualification that the tribunal must take into account the rights of the solicitor under articles 6, right to a fair trial, and 8, right to respect for private and family life, of the European Convention on Human Rights.

It was an overstatement to say that a very strong case was required before the court would interfere. Absent any error of law, the High Court must pay considerable respect to the decision of an expert and informed tribunal.

Here the tribunal’s decision was correct in law and on the facts and the Divisional Court was not entitled to interfere with the sentence since it could not be satisfied that the sentence was clearly inappropriate.

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