The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police has successfully challenged a misconduct hearing panel’s decision to impose a Final Written Warning (FWW), after an officer made racist remarks about a fellow officer: R (Chief Constable of West Midlands Police) v Panel Chair, Police Misconduct Panel [2020] EWHC 1400 (Admin). The decision confirms that the High Court will be prepared to intervene where panels fail to follow the College of Policing’s Guidance on Outcomes, and that misconduct involving discrimination will be treated especially seriously.

Laws which criminalise what would otherwise be normal daily life and which the police must enforce must be clear, unambiguous, fair and fairly applied, logical and proportionate to the public health imperative. The purpose of this blog post is to illustrate the difficulties with the amended legislation, the inconsistencies between the laws of the four nations of the UK, as well as the problems of enforcement by the police. Whatever the problems with the legislation, whatever the high profile breaches, people must socially distance and must wear masks when unable to do so. The coronavirus is not going away soon, or perhaps ever. It may be joined by other novel viruses and human life may have to change.

With greatly improving weather, and recent news of high profile breaches of the rules, the British public have decided for themselves to begin to emerge from lockdown and to start enjoy the weather. The four nations of the UK have responded to this by relaxing the lockdown regulations applicable to each of them, albeit in distinct ways, to different extents and at slightly different points in time. Click here to continue.

The ‘lockdown’ has been slightly relaxed in England but much less so in the other three nations. In England, this relaxation was announced by the Prime Minister in a nationally televised address at 7pm on a Sunday. By 7am the next day, there was considerable uncertainty as to what he meant and from when he meant things to change. The First Secretary of State, no less, had to be subsequently ‘corrected’ by his own Government after a Radio 4 interview. The more draconian the legal restrictions are, the more important it is to ensure that they are readily understood by the population, which must obey them, and by the police, who must enforce them. Otherwise, they lose much of their utility in the protection of public health. That is as true of restrictions that are relaxed as it is of the original restrictions. Click here to continue.

In Goodenough v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police [2020] EWHC 695 (QB), the High Court, Turner J, considered a claim for damages brought by Robin Goodenough’s mother and sister. The claims arose out of Mr Goodenough’s death on 27 September 2003 following a short car chase and traffic stop. The Claimants asserted that police officers had assaulted Mr Goodenough and that thereafter had been breaches of Article 2 of the Human Rights Act 1998. The case provides useful insights into the approach to be taken when conducting a judicial analysis of incidents such as this and may be relied upon by those arguing that an Art. 2 inquest is required in order to meet investigative short comings.

The European Court of Human Rights court held in Gaughran v United Kingdom [2020] ECHR 144 that the police’s indefinite retention of DNA profile, fingerprints and photographs of person convicted of a minor offence without a possibility of review constituted an infringement of Article 8 ECHR (respect for private life). This is the latest in a number of cases where the ECtHR has disagreed with a decision of the Supreme Court and represents a further development of the meaning of “private life”.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 and the similar (but not identical) regulations made in the other 3 nations of the UK (together, “the ‘Lockdown’ Regulations”) have been suggested by some to be unlawful (being ultra vires their parent statute) insofar as they purport to criminalise all those leaving the places where they are living, as opposed to merely those who may be infected. This blog examines the main arguments and explains the legal consequences if those arguments are right. Click here to continue.

Applications for forced marriage protection orders (“FMPO”s) made pursuant to s.63A of the Family Law Act 1996 are on the rise: in 2018, the government’s Forced Marriage Unit provided advice or support in 1,764 possible forced marriage cases; a significant increase from the following 1200-1400 cases in 2017. Also in 2018, Family Court statistics indicate that 322 applications were made and 324 orders granted. Despite applications being made by police, who must seek leave to make such an application under s.63C(3) of the Family Law Act 1996, and local authorities, the legislation itself does not provide clear guidance as to how the court should deal with such applications. The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has now done so in Re K (Forced Marriage: Passport Order) [2020] EWCA Civ 190. 

In Chief Constable of Essex Police v Transport Arendonk Bvba [2020] EWHC 212 (QB), the High Court (Laing J) refused to strike out a claim in negligence, against the police, where the driver of a lorry carrying cargo had been arrested for drink-driving, and the cargo had been stolen during the driver’s detention at the police station. It demonstrates the continued difficulty to identify what is a police "act" or "omission" - and what amounts to the police causing a state of danger, giving rise to liability.

It is possible for the social media activity of professionals to amount to professional misconduct, even if seemingly made in a personal capacity and where freedom of speech is claimed. The case of Diggins v Bar Standards Board [2020] EWHC 467 (Admin), holds that there is no "bright line" between conduct that falls within the private realm as opposed to that which is sufficiently public to engage a professional disciplinary jurisdiction. It is sometimes argued in police misconduct hearings that private social-media behaviour of officers falls outwith professional misconduct - that might be the case on particular facts but the instant case shows that this is not necessarily so.

The Northern Ireland High Court in C (A Person under a Disability) v Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland [2020] NIQB 3 has awarded damages of £16,500 for a breach of article 3 in respect of a failure by the police to conduct a proper investigation into the reported rape of a twenty-year-old woman with Asperger’s syndrome. 

In R (Short) v (1) Police Misconduct Tribunal (2) Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police [2020] EWHC 385 (Admin), Mr Justice Saini delivered a resounding reaffirmation that misconduct hearing panels are well able to put irrelevant and prejudicial matters out of their minds rather than having to recuse themselves and that they are able to determine their own procedures, just like civil courts and tribunals.

The case of R (Bridges) v Chief Constable of South Wales Police & Information Commissioner [2019] EWHC 2341 (Admin); [2020] 1 WLR 672 is said to have been the first claim brought before a court anywhere on planet earth concerning the use by police of automated facial recognition (“AFR”) technology. There could be nothing wrong with posting scores of police officers with eidetic memories to look out for up to a 800 wanted persons at public gatherings. So why not use a powerful computer, capable of matching 50 faces a second with a database of (under) 800 suspects, to do this job much more cheaply and instantaneously, flagging any matches to a human operator for final assessment? According to the Divisional Court in Bridges, this may, depending on the facts of each particular deployment, be lawful. 

The European Court of Human Rights continues to make clear that a failure by member states to protect women from domestic violence will amount to a breach of article 3. The latest decision in Affaire Buturuga v Romania (App No. 56867/15), available only in French, found a breach of articles 3 and 8 in respect of a failure to investigate adequately and/or take action on complaints of domestic violence and awarded €10,000 general damages.   

Not an English case - but those concerned at the time taken for police cases to be resolved may raise an eyebrow at the case of Kupo v Independent State of Papua New Guinea [2020] PGNC 3. A Papua New Guniea Commissioner of Police was appointed on 1 November 2001, removed from post on 12 September 2002 and then removed from the payroll on 12 December 2002. He was still litigating for damages in 2019. Aside from the case failing for being two years out-of-time, the court held that where the decision to redeploy the Commissioner, having the effect of removing him, was the result of a policy or administrative instruction, this gave rise to no legally enforceable rights or obligations. 

Two recent cases have required the High Court and Court of Appeal to consider in detail the use by local authorities of different powers contained in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (“ASBCPA”) to limit or prevent protests that have contained a strong religious or moral element. To what extent are the courts prepared to sanction the use of these powers in relation to types of activities that perhaps would not immediately spring to mind when the words ‘anti-social behaviour’ are heard? The answer, in two words, is ‘very prepared’, judging by the decisions in the cases of Dulgerhiu v London Borough of Ealing [2019] EWCA Civ 1490 and Birmingham City Council v Asfar [2019] EWHC 3217 (QB).

The first case concerned a challenge to the imposition by the London Borough of Ealing of a Public Spaces Protection Order. In the second the High Court granted a final anti-social behaviour injunction, sought by Birmingham City Council under section 1 of the 2014 Act. While the cases raise real issues as to the balancing of the Human Rights Act 1998 articles 9, 10 and 11 rights of the ‘protestor’ against those affected by the protests, as will be seen the Courts have had little hesitation in approving or taking action where there was evidence of real harm being caused.

In R (AB) v Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary [2019] EWHC 3461 (Admin), the Divisional Court considered a claim on behalf of a boy with severe learning and communication disabilities, that police had failed properly to investigate what appeared to be a disclosure by him of a sexual assault during a stay at in respite care. He argued that they had wrongly proceeded to interview him despite no witness intermediary being available and had subsequently failed to re-interview him with an intermediary. He argued that this was a breach of Article 3, and unlawful disability discrimination. The Court dismissed the claim, also giving important procedural guidance.

Last year, I wrote a post on this blog discussing a High Court judgment which held that qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS) protection does not apply automatically in proceedings where a claimant is advancing both a claim for damages for personal injury and a claim other than a claim for damages for personal injury (a mixed claim). The claimants appeal in in Brown v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2019] EWCA Civ 1724 has now been unanimously dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

The case of Fullick v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2019] EWHC 1941 (QB) concerned an appeal of a Deputy Masters order that the MET Commissioner pay the claimants' costs in the sum of £88,356.22, following the settlement of a contemplated civil claim for damages for breach of article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights, negligence and misfeasance in public office. Slade J held that the Deputy Master had not erred in awarding the claimants their costs relating to the inquest because the steps taken for the purposes of it were relevant to the civil claim. 

In Volodina v Russia (Application No 41261/17); [2019] ECHR 539 the European Court of Human Rights has held that domestic violence falls within the description of inhuman or degrading treatment for the purposes of article 3, such that where the police receive a complaint of this, they are likely to have an obligation to launch an investigation into it for the purposes of identifying and punishing the perpetrator and, possibly, to take protective measures against such further behaviour.

The Court of Appeal has held in Re M (Children) (Disclosure to the Police) [2019] EWCA Civ 1364, that the Re C test for disclosure of material from care proceedings to the police remains good law after 23 years, and in the light of the Human Rights Act 1996, but with the qualification that disclosure must be necessary and proportionate.

In LXD and ors v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police [2019] EWHC 1685 (Admin), the Administrative Court found that the police had not breached its obligations under Articles 2, 3 and 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 in its response to a threat to kill LXD and her children. Dingemans J, as he then was, encouraged mediation where the recipient of such a threat sought to challenge the adequacy of the police’s risk assessment or the protective measures that the police have put in place. The judge also questioned the appropriateness of a claim for judicial review being brought in these circumstances, which are likely to involve disputes of fact. 

The Administrative Court has quashed a misconduct panel’s decision to impose a final written warning on the basis that the panel failed to follow the correct approach outlined in the College of Policing’s Guidance on Outcomes in Police Misconduct Proceedings (“the Guidance”): R (Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police) v Police Misconduct Panel (HHJ Pelling QC, 13 November 2018). The case is on Westlaw but not Bailii. It is, however, a case of considerable importance. It states that when reaching a decision on disciplinary sanction, a panel must not only follow a structured approach to its decision making but show that it has done so in its written reasons.

In R (Boskovic) v Chief Constable of Staffordshire [2019] EWCA Civ 676, the Court of Appeal had to resolve apparently conflicting High Court decisions on two separate questions arising from the application of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006. This blog post considers the implications for police pension authorities who are asked to agree to re-open a final decision, thereby avoiding the need for an appeal to the Police Medical Appeal Board, or a judicial review claim. 

In Gilchrist v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police [2019] EWHC 1233, the High Court considered officers’ use of force in the context of use of CS gas and a taser repeatedly upon a man who was autistic and mentally distressed and found that its continued use became unlawful. Whereas the initial use of CS gas and Taser were justified, once the police learned of the male's vulnerability as an autistic man and noted that his behaviour was defensive rather than aggressive, a more cautious approach should have been adopted.

The Court of Appeal in (1) Capita Customer Management Ltd v Ali & (2) Chief Constable of Leicestershire v Hextall [2019] EWCA Civ 900, has overturned the Employment Appeal Tribunal and held that employees do not unlawfully discriminate against men when when paying them less for shared parental leave than they pay women when taking enhanced maternity pay as part of maternity leave. Such claims are not sex discrimination claims but equal terms claims, to be brought under the Equal Pay Act 1970, which are bound to fail because they relate to terms of work affording special treatment to woman in connection with pregnancy of childbirth. An appeal to the Supreme Court is possible.

Where a court finds a wrongful arrest, it is often due to inadequate grounds for belief in its necessity. However, a brief judgment in Smith v Police Service for Northern Ireland [2019] NIQB 39 is a demonstration of where there is a lack of reasonable suspicion that the person arrested has, themselves, committed the offence. Also of interest is the sum for damages – £3,550 for the unlawful arrest and ten hours’ consequent unlawful detention.

Every police officer knows they must have a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed an offence in order to arrest them. But that is only half of what is required. The second element is that they must have a reasonable belief in the necessity for the person’s arrest. The recent decision of Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police v MR [2019] EWHC 888 (QB) is one of a number of recent cases where appellate judgments have sought to tighten-up what the police must show in order to prove necessity.

In the instant case, a woman ‘A’ and her partner ‘MR’ had been in a relationship for fifteen months. A complained to the police about MR, who could not be traced save for a mobile telephone number. A police officer called MR on 11 January 2010, who then attended a police station for voluntary interview on 12 January 2010. Whilst at the police station and before being interviewed, MR was arrested on suspicion of harassment. He was interviewed, photographed, and had his fingerprints and DNA samples taken. After nearly seven hours, the police released him on conditional bail. He claimed that the arrest and consequent detention was unlawful and was subsequently successful in the county-court. The Comissioner appealed to the High Court.

In the case of Eiseman Renyard and Others v United Kingdom (2019) Application no. 57884/17, the European Court of Human Rights has declined to disturb the decision of the Supreme Court in R (Hicks) v Comr Metropolitan Police [2017] UKSC 9; [2017] AC 256, concerning the arrest and detention of royal wedding protesters, for breach of the peace. 

As stated in the blog post discussing the decision of the Supreme Court, the police arrested a number of individuals on 29th April 2011, which was the day of the royal wedding, took them into police custody and released them without charge once the pageant was over. The justification was that the arrests were said to be necessary to prevent an imminent breach of the peace - the violent disruption of the wedding. No-one was brought before a court as foreseen by article 5(1)(c) of the Convention.

In Catt v United Kingdom [2019] ECHR 76, the European Court departed from and disagreed with the Supreme Court, holding that the police's collection and retention of data of a peaceful protestor was an unlawful interference with article 8 of the Convention.

Mr Catt was a 94-year-old man from Brighton; a peaceful protestor who regularly attended public demonstrations since 1947. In 2005, he began attending demonstrations held by ‘Smash EDO’. Although there was often serious disorder and criminality at Smash EDO’s protests, Mr Catt only ever attended in a peaceful capacity and was never charged with anything.

In 2010, he made a ‘subject access request’ to the police, to identify what records, if any, they held on him. The police disclosed sixty-six entries identifying his attending protests between 2005 and 2009. Some were EDO Smash protests, many were other protests. All of these records were held on the police’s “Extremism Database”.

The Association of Chief Police Officers, ‘ACPO’, refused to delete the entries on Mr Catt. They failed to give any reasons for this refusal, and so Mr Catt judicially reviewed ACPO’s decision. In so doing, he claimed a breach of his article 8 right to privacy.

In R (CL) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester & Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 3333 (Admin), the Divisional Court held that the retention by the police of crime reports which related to sexting incidents in which a schoolboy had allegedly been involved did not breach his rights under Article 8 ECHR.

The decision confirmed that the retention of data by the police in accordance with the prevailing regulatory and statutory data protection framework and relevant guidance was in accordance with the law for the purposes of Article 8(2) whether the alleged offender was an adult or a child.

The duty to have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children did not mandate the deletion of data: the best interests of any children concerned was a primary, but not determinative, consideration.

A defendant cannot defend himself from prosecution for breach of a Community Protection Notice (‘CPN’), on the basis that the CPN is invalid. The reason, stated in Stannard v The Crown Prosecution Service [2019] EWHC 84 (Admin), is that there is an effective means to challenge the CPN - either by exercising the right of statutory appeal or by judicial review. Allowing a challenge to the validity of the CPN at trial is not what the relevant statute (the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, ‘the 2014 Act’) intends, nor is it an effective remedy because the person subject to a CPN should not be required to breach a CPN in order to exercise a right to challenge it.

In Bennett v Chief Constable of Merseyside [2018] EWHC 3591 (Admin), the High Court confirmed that a district judge was correct to make no order for costs against the police after it withdrew its Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’) s.298 application for cash forfeiture. In considering the decision of the district judge, the High Court reaffirmed three points:

(i) The starting point is that no order for costs should be made provided that the public authority has acted reasonably and properly;

(ii) In determining whether the police acted reasonably and properly, the court should scrutinise the behaviour of the police with care; and

(iii) It may be justifiable to award costs against the police, particularly where the successful private party would suffer substantial hardship if no order for costs were made in their favour.

In Griffiths v (1) Chief Constable of Suffolk (2) Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust [2018] EWHC 2538 (QB), the High Court dismissed claims that the Chief Constable and the NHS Trust were negligent in breaching their duties of care or had breached human rights. The case is interesting for reaffirming three points:

(i) the law will generally not impose liability on a defendant for failing to prevent harm caused by someone else;

(ii) obligations under Article 2 (right to life) or Article 3 (prohibition of torture) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) will not arise where the institution does not know of a real risk that those rights would be breached; and

(iii) where there is a protective duty in respect of ECHR, Articles 2 or 3, a breach of Article 8 (respect for private and family life) cannot succeed where Articles 2 or 3 are not themselves breached.

The new Investigatory Powers Tribunal Rules 2018 came into force on 31 December 2018, revoking the 2000 rules: See here. The 2018 rules apply to all section 7 Human Rights Act 1998 proceedings before the Tribunal and all covert investigatory powers complaints under section 65 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, including those which were made before the new rules came into force.

The case of R (Application of the Centre for Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) and (1) Sec State Home Dept (2) Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2018] EWCA 2837 (Civ) holds that police officers have the power to do anything that an ordinary citizen can do.

The latest decision of the Court of Appeal in Parker v Chief Constable of Essex Police [2018] EWCA Civ 2788 is important for all police lawyers. The facts are quite detailed but, essentially, where the police perform an unlawful arrest (which would result in unlawful detention), the arrested person will receive only nominal damages where they could and would have been lawfully arrested had the correct procedures been followed.

There is also a second element – which is that the question of whether the police have a reasonable suspicion for the purpose of making an arrest ought to be considered in the round; courts ought not to over-compartmentalise the issue by analysing each factor separately.

As part of ‘dialogue’ with other common law jurisdictions, the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Singapore (Singapore’s highest court) in Tat Development PTE Ltd v Management Corporation of Grange Heights Strata Title Plan No 301 [2018] SGCA 50 has declined to follow the UK Supreme Court on extending the tort of malicious prosecution to civil proceedings. The Supreme Court recently held by a slim margin of 5-4 in Willers v Joyce [2016] UKSC 43; [2016] 3 WLR 477 that the tort of malicious prosecution be extended to cover the bringing of civil proceedings. This was a highly controversial decision attracting much academic comment. The Singaporean Court of Appeal has expressly declined to follow it, adopting the reasoning of the minority in Willers, in particular that of Lords Sumption and Mance.

Although not strictly a police case, the judgment together with the two earlier cases that the Supreme Court sought to resolve - Gregory v Portsmouth City Council [2000] UKHL 3; [2000] 1 AC 419 (HL) and Crawford Adjusters v Sagicor General Insurance (Cayman) Ltd [2013] UKPC 17, [2014] AC 366 delve deeply into the history of malicious prosecution and are an education as to the tort’s development and meaning.

The High Court has held in Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v Brown [2018] EWHC 2046 (Admin) that qualified one-way costs shifting (‘QOCS’) protection does not apply automatically in proceedings where a claimant is advancing both a claim for damages for personal injury and a claim other than a claim for damages for personal injury (a ‘mixed claim’).


The Supreme Court in R (AR) v CC Greater Manchester Police [2018] UKSC 47 upheld the inclusion of information in an enhanced criminal record certificate (ECRC) that a person had been acquitted of rape. The judgment shows the importance of chief officers considering with great care the various factors in order to strike a fair balance between the rights of the individual applying for the ECRC as opposed to the wider rights of the community, including vulnerable persons.

The working assumption of most police lawyers is that a common law duty of care will not arise where call handlers tell 999 callers that the police will attend and assist. The judgment in Sherratt v Chief Constable of GMP [2018] EWHC 1746 (QB) demonstrates that a more careful analysis is required. In this case, some fairly common and non-specific assurances were sufficient to give rise to a duty of care.

The Supreme Court has held in James-Bowen & Ors v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2018] UKSC 40 that the Commissioner owed no duty to protect the economic and reputational interests of officers whose alleged misconduct formed the subject of a civil claim, which the Commissioner had settled.

The officers had been involved in executing the arrest of BA at BA's home in December 2003. BA accused the officers of having assaulted and abused him, allegations which received widespread media coverage. He brought a civil claim against the Commissioner, who was vicariously liable for the officers’ actions and who settled the claim with an admission of liability (relating to the officers’ alleged wrongdoing) and payment of compensation. The officers were not parties to the civil claim and had declined to give evidence at the trial due to fears for their own safety following the release of their identities into the public domain by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, now the Independent Office for Police Conduct. After the civil claim was settled, the officers were prosecuted in the Crown Court: a jury speedily acquitted them following disclosure of a probe in BA's home which undermined his version of events.

The officers brought claims against the Commissioner, as their quasi-employer, for having failed to protect their interests in the conduct of the civil litigation including the settlement of the claim.

The recent decision of Holmes v CC Merseyside Police [2018] EWHC 1026 (QB) confirms the power of the police to arrest individuals who are not acting unlawfully. It relies on the earlier case of CPS v McCann [2015] EWHC 2461; [2016] 1 Cr. App. R. 6, which held that an arresting officer was acting in the execution of their duty when making an arrest notwithstanding that their suspicion that that offences were being committed being mistaken.

Challenges to a failure to adjourn seem to be popping-up at the moment. There was the recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Solanki v (1) Intercity Telecom Ltd (2) Guidinglight Finance Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 101 – where a judge had failed to give adequate reasons for rejecting medical evidence justifying an adjournment. By contrast, in the recent decision of Lindsay v Solicitors' Regulatory Authority [2018] EWHC 1275 (Admin), the respondent in misconduct proceedings failed to advance adequate evidence to support such an application. What lies deeper beneath, however, is whether an appeal against a decision not to adjourn requires the appellate court or tribunal to consider whether the original decision lay within the range of reasonable responses open to the decision maker below or, alternatively, has to determine the question of fairness / correctness itself.

The determinations of Selected Medical Practitioners (SMPs) made under the various Police Pensions Regulations and the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 are, in many cases, supposed to be final unless or until they are appealed. Subsequent SMPs, Police Medical Appeal Boards and, on occasion, the lawyers acting for both officers and police pension authorities, seem prone to forget this principle. When they do, the High Court always welcomes them with open arms and a consistent eagerness to remind them that careful adherence to the statutory procedures for injury on duty awards is in everyone’s long-term interest. 

The case of R (Evans) v Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary and Police Medical Appeals Board [2018] EWHC 952 (Admin) is the latest case to confirm this principle. While there is little in the decision that ought to come as a great surprise, the judgment does include an unambiguous critique of the decision in R (Doubtfire & Anor) v Police Medical Appeal Board [2010] EWHC 980 (Admin), which ought no longer to be regarded as good law. It also gives clear advice to SMPs and PMABs, who may be considering the question of an injury on duty award years after the first determination under the Police Pensions Regulations 1987.

The Family Division of the High Court in G v G (Chief Constable of Dorset Police intervening) [2018] EWHC 1100 (Fam) ordered that the service and disclosure of a CAFCASS report be delayed for a week in order to allow an effective police investigation into allegations that the father had sexually abused one of the children. The judgment of 4 May 2018 was delivered in private and Holman J gave leave for an anonymised version to be published one week later, stating that the decision had been made upon the Court “being asked to take a very unusual course” in “a very unusual application”.

Just a very short point on proceeding in misconduct hearings in the absence of defendant officers, following the judgment in Sanusi v GMC [2018] EWHC 1388 (Admin). 

The position on proceeding in absence of a defendant officer in police misconduct hearings was always thought to mirror that in criminal proceedings - and for good reason. The central authority of R v Jones (Anthony) [2003] 1 AC 1, setting out the very high bar to proceeding in criminal actions was followed by Tate v The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons [2003] UKPC 34, which adopted that test for disciplinary hearings. It is worth noting that although Tate was heard by the Privy Council, it did so as a first (and only) tier appeal tribunal. Regardless, the position in Tate no longer holds.