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					                                 CONSULTATION


                PROPOSALS TO REVISE THE INVESTIGATION,

                  DISCIPLINARY AND APPEAL RULES (IDAR)



INTRODUCTION

ILEX Professional Standards Ltd (IPS) is the regulatory body for Legal Executives and
other grades of members registered with the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX).
ILEX is an approved regulator under the Legal Services Act 2007.

IPS has identified that the Investigation, Disciplinary and Appeal Rules (IDAR) should
be revised as a priority. These are rules under which complaints are investigated
and disciplinary proceedings are brought. They apply to all grades of ILEX member.
The main driver behind the need for the revisions is that members of the ILEX
Council serve on the various committees and tribunals performing adjudicatory
functions under the IDAR. Their roles are inconsistent with the requirement for
Approved Regulators to separate regulatory and representative functions under the
Legal Services Act 2007.

IPS will take the opportunity to make other improvements to the IDAR.          These
include revisions to current provisions and the introduction of new matters.

This consultation document begins by outlining the new complaints handling and
disciplinary structure and summarising the principal revisions to the IDAR. It then
discusses the proposed revisions and the additional items to be included. IPS seeks
views on its proposals.
The consultation will close 10 July 2009


OUTLINE OF NEW STRUCTURE AND SUMMARY OF REVISIONS

Complaints handling / disciplinary procedure
The proposed complaints handling procedures would follow the structure set out
below:

1. IPS will investigate complaints received about the conduct of practitioners
   registered as members of ILEX. The investigation will involve agreeing the
   complaint with the complainant, obtaining evidence in support, obtaining the
   response of the ILEX member and evidence in support of their response. Once
   the investigation is complete a report will be produced of the case. This is the
   same as the existing process.

2. The case will then normally be referred to the Professional Conduct Panel. The
   Panel will be asked to decide whether there is a prima facie case to substantiate
   the complaint. If it finds that there is a prima face case it may decide either to
   use its disciplinary powers or, if the case is serious, to refer it to the Disciplinary
   Tribunal. This procedure is the same as the existing procedure, except that the
   Professional Conduct Panel will replace the Investigating Committee.

3. The Disciplinary Tribunal process will involve the production of charges, collation
   of evidence and a formal hearing. The Tribunal will decide whether it finds the
   charges are proved. The rules in relation to the Disciplinary Tribunal remain
   unchanged, except that the range of powers available to the Disciplinary Tribunal
   would also include those available to the Professional Conduct Panel and the
   standard of proof would be changed from the criminal standard to the civil
   standard.

4. The right to appeal against a decision made by the Professional Conduct Panel or
   the Disciplinary Tribunal would be retained. Appeals would be made to an
   Appeals Panel that would replace the existing Appeals Committee and Appeals
   Tribunal. The complainant would not be a party to the proceedings and would
   therefore not have a right of appeal whereas at present they may appeal against
   the first tier decision.

Delegated powers
5. It is proposed that the office would exercise delegated functions in conjunction
   with a chair of the Professional Conduct Panel. The delegated powers would
   include the following.
    The power to reject cases which are demonstrably unfounded and cases
       outside the jurisdiction of IPS.



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     Referrals of serious cases to the Disciplinary Tribunal without recourse to the
      Professional Conduct Panel.
    Entering into determination by consent with members.
   These are new procedures that will be introduced into the rules. The progress of
   cases falling within these delegated cases will deviate from the normal
   investigative procedure.

Prior conduct matters
6. All members of ILEX and persons making an application to become a member of
   ILEX are required to declare prior conduct. These include convictions, financial
   orders and disciplinary orders made by another professional body. Where a
   declaration is made the Professional Conduct Panel is asked to consider whether
   to admit a person into membership of ILEX or, in the case of existing members,
   what further action to take against them.

7. Under these proposals the range of declarations that can be approved by the
   office under the expedited procedure, without a referral to the Professional
   Conduct Panel, will be extended.

Other revisions
8. It is proposed that the rules would introduce the following new matters:
    A power to suspend self-employed practitioners from practice while an
        investigation is ongoing into their conduct, where there is a clear prospect
        that continued practice would put the public at risk.
    A policy on spent decisions.

Procedural issues
9. The following procedural matters would be introduced, but they would not form
   part of the Rules:
    Complaints handling will be streamlined, whereby correspondence will be
      concluded with the parties at an earlier stage to avoid delay.
    A formal determination will be produced for the person chairing a Panel or
      tribunal to read out at the conclusion of case.
    Sanctions guidelines will be developed.




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                            REVISIONS TO THE RULES

Comments are particularly requested in relation to the following proposed revisions
to the IDAR.


COMPOSITION OF COMMITTEES

10. Under the current rules the Investigating Committee is responsible for considering
    all complaints, allegations of misconduct and most prior conduct declarations. It
    comprises 6 members of the ILEX Council and 3 independent lay members. As a
    matter of principle council members will no longer be able to serve on the
    Investigating Committee. It is proposed that the Investigating Committee will be
    replaced by a Professional Conduct Panel of 4 lay members and 4 professional
    members. The Panel will meet as a panel of 3 members on each occasion, with
    a lay majority. Professional members will be Fellows of ILEX who do not serve on
    the ILEX Council or IPS Board.

11. It is proposed that the Panel will have two chairs, one lay and one professional.
    Two chairs will be introduced to enable expedient exercise of the delegated
    functions and to ensure at least one chair is available for each Panel meeting.

12. IPS sees value in introducing a lay majority on the Panel and reducing the size of
    the adjudicatory panel to 3 members because it will enhance the independence
    and public perception of impartiality of decision making. IPS has had a lay
    majority on its Appeals Committee, Disciplinary Tribunal and Appeals Tribunal
    since 2002. These bodies also meet in panels of 3. This approach has worked
    well for a considerable period of time and we therefore propose to introduce it at
    the first tier. Provision of a lay majority at the first stage of consideration will
    enhance the independence of the complaints and disciplinary process.

13. The composition of the Disciplinary Tribunal and Appeals Panel will remain
    unchanged, except that the ILEX Council members will be replaced by other
    professional members to be selected by interview.


Q1    Do you agree that the Professional Conduct Panel should meet as a
      panel of 3 with 2 lay members and 1 professional member? If not,
      state why.

Q2    Do you have any other comments on the proposals relating to the
      Professional Conduct Panel?




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INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS

Prior conduct
14. All members of ILEX are required to make prior conduct declarations. These are
    declarations as to whether a disciplinary order has been made against a person
    including an order under s43 Solicitors Act 1974, whether they have a criminal
    conviction or whether a person has a financial order made against them including
    bankruptcy orders, Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or other court orders.
    These declarations have to be made on applications for membership, applications
    to upgrade membership and on annual subscription returns. The Professional
    Conduct Panel will be required to decide whether or not to approve an application
    where a prior conduct declaration has been made. The Panel will have various
    disciplinary powers available to it.

15. The present rules delegate to the office the power to determine that no action
    will be taken in relation to certain declarations of prior conduct. The cases dealt
    with under this procedure are called expedited cases. The declarations which can
    be expedited are declarations of:
         Outstanding judgments.
         Spent convictions (except when made by Fellows).
         Driving offences where the period of disqualification did not exceed 18
           months.
         A Bankruptcy order or IVA which has been discharged.

16. It is proposed that the list of declarations which can be expedited should be
    extended.

17. The current Investigating Committee has taken no action in almost all the prior
    conduct cases it has received involving bankruptcy orders or IVAs. It has
    expressed the view that these declarations should be approved under the
    expedited procedure if they do not involve any misconduct or dishonesty. It is
    proposed that these cases should be expedited.

18. It is proposed that the expedited cases should also include declarations made by
    Fellows of spent convictions where the conviction was declared and approved on
    a past application.

19. The rules contain a fall back position whereby an officer can refer to the
    Professional Conduct Panel a declaration, which could be expedited, where there
    are grounds for not using the expedited route.

20. The Professional Conduct Panel will also retain responsibility for considering any
    prior conduct declaration that cannot be dealt with under the expedited
    procedure.



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Q3    Do you agree with the range of new matters to be delegated to the
      office to approve under the expedited procedure? If not, state why.

Q4    Are there any other prior conduct declarations that could be
      approved under the expedited procedure? If so, state what they are.



DISCIPLINARY TRIBUNAL

21. At present the rules require the charges to be proved to the criminal standard of
    beyond reasonable doubt. It is proposed that the burden of proof will be revised
    to the civil standard. There is some authority that disciplinary cases against
    lawyers should be proved to the criminal standard. However, IPS recommends
    that the civil standard is suitable for allegations of professional misconduct. In
    making this change IPS follows the general trend of other professional bodies
    where the civil standard is becoming the norm.


Q5    Do you agree that the burden of proof in Disciplinary Tribunal cases
      should be revised to the civil standard which is on the balance of
      probability? If not, state why.



APPEALS

22. The right to appeal against a decision made by the Professional Conduct Panel or
    the Disciplinary Tribunal will be retained. Appeals will be made to an Appeals
    Panel that will replace the existing Appeals Committee and Appeals Tribunal. The
    complainant will not be a party to the proceedings and will therefore not have a
    right of appeal whereas at present they may appeal against the first tier decision.

23. The rules on appeals will be tidied up to make the grounds of appeal clearer and
    to clarify the timescales for the submission of appeals.

24. The rules will state that a party wishing to appeal must notify IPS of their
    intention and their grounds of appeal within 15 working days of receipt of
    notification of the original decision. The appellant will be granted a further 15
    working days to submit documents in support of their appeal. The hearing will be
    scheduled to take place normally within 30 days of receipt of the documents.

25. The Appeal Panel will have the jurisdiction to decide whether to accept an appeal
    made out of time. In deciding whether to accept an appeal made out of time, the




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   panel will take into account the reasons why the appeal was made out of time;
   the prejudice caused to the other party by the submission of a late appeal; and
   the length of the delay.

26. The right to a re-hearing of a Disciplinary Tribunal case will be removed. Re-
    hearings could be sought by members who had not attended the hearing of the
    Disciplinary Tribunal and were not represented. Members will continue to be able
    to appeal against the decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal.


Q6    Do you agree with the proposed timescales for submissions of
      appeals? If not, state why.

Q7    Do you agree that appeals against decisions made by the
      Professional Conduct Panel and Disciplinary Tribunal should be
      heard by one Appeals Panel? If not, state why

Q8    Do you agree that the right to a re-hearing should be removed? If
      not, state why.

Q9    Please provide any other comments you have on the proposals
      relating to appeals.




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ADDITIONAL MATTERS

27. It is proposed that a number of new issues should be introduced into the rules.
    The proposals are discussed below.


REJECTION OF UNFOUNDED CASES

28. It is proposed that the power to reject cases which are demonstrably unfounded
    and cases outside the jurisdiction of IPS should be delegated to a senior officer in
    conjunction with a chair of the Professional Conduct Panel. A senior officer will
    either be the Head of IPS or IPS Manager.

29. IPS receives a number of cases which are clearly unfounded and should be
    rejected. However, the officer is obliged to fully investigate all complaints before
    they are referred for adjudication. This is a time consuming and resource
    intensive task which puts both the complainant and the ILEX member through an
    unnecessary process.

30. It is envisaged that most unfounded cases could be rejected either upon receipt
    of the initial complaint or upon the conclusion of enquiries with the complainant.
    There will be instances where it will be difficult to decide that a case was
    unfounded until receipt of the evidence produced by the member. On this basis
    the decision to reject can be made at any point up to conclusion of enquiries with
    the member.

31. It is proposed that these cases should be rejected by a decision made by a senior
    officer of IPS in conjunction with a Professional Conduct Panel chair.

32. The power to reject cases will enable a quick disposal of the case by an Officer
    who will have a detailed understanding of the case. A check will be introduced
    into the decision making process by the involvement of a Panel Chair.

33. The decision makers will be required to set out their reasons for rejecting cases.
    It is proposed that decisions will be made against criteria which will be set out in
    the rules. The criteria may help to reduce challenges against decisions and will
    be used in the reasoning. The proposed criteria are:

         There is no evidence available to support the complaint.
         The alleged complaint does not disclose any misconduct on the part of the
          ILEX member.
         IPS has no jurisdiction to consider the case (such as it does not involve an
          ILEX member or the person is no longer a member of ILEX).
         The case relates to events that took place over 3 years previously.



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34. The proposed rules would allow appeals to be made against a decision to reject a
    complaint. Appeals will be made to the Appeals Panel. A panel of 3 members
    will hear the appeal. Appellants will be required to show that they have grounds
    for making an appeal. The rules will set out the grounds upon which an appeal
    could be made.


Q 10 Do you agree that unfounded cases should be rejected without a
     referral to the Professional Conduct Panel? If not, state why.

Q 11 Do you agree that the decision to reject a case should be made by a
     senior officer and the Professional Conduct Panel Chair? If not, state
     why.

Q 12 Do you have any other comments on the proposal to reject
     unfounded cases?



OFFICER REFERRALS TO THE DISCIPLINARY TRIBUNAL

35. It is proposed that the decision to refer cases to the Disciplinary Tribunal will be
    made by a senior officer and a Professional Conduct Panel chair in instances
    where there is a clear case that referral is the only option.

36. There are some cases where it is clear that a referral to the Disciplinary Tribunal
    will be the only option for the Professional Conduct Panel. The office can
    normally identify these cases. However, at present, the Investigating Committee
    members are obliged to consider the case report and supporting documentation
    to gain a full understanding of the case before making a decision to refer it to the
    Disciplinary Tribunal.

37. It is proposed that obvious cases should be referred directly to the Disciplinary
    Tribunal by a senior officer and Professional Conduct Panel Chair without making
    a referral to the Panel.

38. The types of cases that are likely to fall into this category are cases where:

          The evidence demonstrates that there is a prima facie case to support the
           complaint; and either
              The conduct involved is of a serious nature; or




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             The member’s conduct had already been considered on a past matter,
             a finding has been made against them and the new complaint involves
             similar or more serious matters.

         A finding of misconduct and an order has already been made against the
          member by another regulatory body, such as orders made under s43
          Solicitors Act 1974.

39. There may be instances where a referral is made but the Disciplinary Tribunal
    finds that the case would have been suitable for disposal by the Professional
    Conduct Panel. There will be an adequate fall back position to reduce any
    prejudice caused to a member in such cases. The disciplinary powers available to
    the Disciplinary Tribunal will be extended to include all the powers available to
    the Professional Conduct Panel. Therefore the Disciplinary Tribunal will be able to
    make use of a power that would otherwise have been exercised by the
    Professional Conduct Panel in such cases.


Q 13 Do you agree the Rules should allow some cases to be referred to
     the Disciplinary Tribunal without recourse to the Professional
     Conduct Panel? If not, state why.

Q 14 Are there any types of case that could be added to the list of matters
     that can be referred directly to the Disciplinary Tribunal? If so, state
     what they are.

Q 15 Do you have any comments on the criteria to be used for these
     cases?

Q 16 Should decisions to refer to the Disciplinary Tribunal be made by the
     Panel Chair and a senior Officer?



SUSPENSION OF SELF-EMPLOYED PRACTITIONERS

40. It is proposed that the Investigating Committee should have the power, in very
    serious cases where the public would otherwise be at risk, to suspend a self-
    employed practitioner from practise in serious cases where there is a significant
    risk to the public interest or interest of consumers.

41. ILEX members have limited rights to practise on a self-employed basis. However,
    there are members who practise independently, most of whom provide probate or
    immigration services.




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42. There are instances where the conduct complained about raises serious concerns
    about whether the member should be allowed to continue to practise whilst an
    investigation into their conduct is ongoing. This is particularly serious in the case
    of self-employed members who pose more risks than employed members. In
    particular IPS may be seen as authorising a person to continue in practice despite
    being on notice about the conduct of the member. In such cases it is proposed
    that the Professional Conduct Panel will have a power, upon a referral made to it
    by the Officer, to suspend the practitioner from practice while the investigation is
    ongoing.

43. The power would have a significant impact upon self-employed practitioners
    because it would prevent them from practising during the period of suspension.
    It would affect their clients who would be forced to instruct alternative
    practitioners. In exercising the power the Professional Conduct Panel would have
    to take into account the detrimental effect suspension could have upon the
    progression of client cases and upon ILEX members. The effect will be balanced
    against the risk to the protection of the public interest and the reputation of IPS
    as a regulator.

44. It is proposed that the Professional Conduct Panel would, in making these
    decisions, take into account the following criteria:
         The seriousness of the case / allegations;
         The weight of the evidence;
         The likelihood of further misconduct occurring during the investigation of
           the complaint;
         The past conduct of the member;
         The risk posed by the member to clients’ interests if they continued to
           practise;
         The responsibility of IPS to protect the public while ensuring that the
           interests of existing clients are protected;
         The impact of suspension on the member and the member’s business; and
         Whether there was anyone else available to carry out the business of the
           practitioner.

45. The rules would also need to address other issues such as:
        The length of notice to be given to the member;
        How to deal with client files and monies during the period of suspension;
        Grounds for lifting the suspension; and
        Appeals against decisions.

    Notice
46. These cases will require urgent decisions. However. it is proposed that wherever
    possible, the member should be given 7 days notice of the intended application.



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   This would allow them opportunity to respond to the application and seek legal
   advice. The notice would include a copy of all the information that would be put
   to the Professional Conduct Panel. The member would be invited to submit a
   written response and/or be invited to attend before the Professional Conduct
   Panel to make oral submissions.

47. It is recognised that the provision of notice could provide the member with an
    opportunity to destroy evidence and take clients’ monies. Where the office
    suspects that the member might take such action it would be able to make an
    application to the Professional Conduct Panel to seek a decision to suspend a
    member from practice without notice. The Professional Conduct Panel, in making
    its decision, would take into account any potential unfairness to the member
    balanced against the need to protect clients’ monies and evidence relevant to the
    case.

    Action on suspension
48. Suspension from practice would prevent a member from providing legal advice
    and services during the period of suspension.

49. An active practice will hold a number of client files, client documents and client
    monies. The live cases would require follow up action to be taken. Therefore IPS
    would make arrangements to distribute the live files and monies in accordance
    with clients’ wishes. It will include setting up a panel of practitioners to whom
    cases could be referred for distribution.

50. The distribution may require some co-operation from the practitioner. A failure to
    co-operate would become a further disciplinary charge made against the
    member.

    Duration of suspension, review and appeals
51. Suspension orders would impact on a member’s livelihood. Therefore suspension
    orders would be made for a maximum period of 18 months with a
    recommendation that the investigation be conducted with the utmost urgency.
    The period of suspension would only be extended in exceptional cases.

52. It is proposed that any such order should be reviewed by the Professional
    Conduct Panel, as a matter of course, every 6 months.

53. Given that there would be regular review periods it should not be necessary to
    have an appeal process except against the imposition of the original order.
    Appeals would lie to the Appeals Panel, the normal route for appeals against
    Professional Conduct Panel decisions.




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Q 17 Do you agree that the Professional Conduct Panel should have the
     power to suspend a member from practice? Please provide reasons
     for your answer.

Q 18 Do you have any comments on the criteria against which suspension
     orders would be made?

Q 19 Do you agree that orders should be valid for 18 months and be
     reviewed every 6 months? It not, state why

Q 20 Do you agree an appeal should be made only against the original
     order? If not, state why.

Q 21 Do you have any other comments on the suspension arrangements?



DETERMINATION BY CONSENT

54. Presently all cases must be fully investigated and referred for adjudication. This
    can become a costly and time consuming exercise, particularly where the member
    has accepted the misconduct and is willing to accept a penalty. It is proposed
    that IPS should be able to determine a case by consent with members. In clear
    cut cases they would save investigation time and costs.

55. The obvious example where a determination would be appropriate is where an
    order under s43 Solicitors Act 1974 has been made against a member by the
    SRA. The Professional Conduct Panel is obliged to consider what action to take in
    respect of the person’s membership of ILEX. Due to their serious nature nearly
    all s43 cases are referred to the Disciplinary Tribunal. The cases then proceed
    through a full hearing and often result in the exclusion of the member from
    membership of ILEX. In the majority of these instances the member accepts the
    charges, recognises that exclusion is inevitable and does not participate in the
    hearing. They sometimes offer to resign their membership of ILEX but are not
    permitted to do so under the Articles of Association. Under these proposals it will
    be possible for IPS and the member to enter into a determination by consent
    agreeing that the member will be excluded from membership of ILEX.

56. It is proposed that determination by consent should be entered into in cases:
           which disclose a prima facie case of professional misconduct; and
           where the facts are not in dispute; and
           where the member accepts that their conduct breached the rules; and
           where the member accepts the sanction indicated by the indicative
             sanctions guidance.



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57. There are two stages at which determination by consent would be appropriate.
    The first is prior to referral to the Professional Conduct Panel. The second is after
    a referral has been made by the Panel but prior to a hearing of the Disciplinary
    Tribunal.     The procedure would not be entered into unless the member
    unequivocally accepted the charges and the penalty offered.

58. Determination by consent would be agreed with a member by a chair of the
    Professional Conduct Panel and a senior Officer.

Available sanctions
59. It is proposed that the full range of sanctions would be available in determination
    by consent cases, except the power to make an order for costs. The sanctions
    available to IPS are to reprimand, warn, seek undertakings, place conditions upon
    employment or membership of ILEX, exclude from membership or fine.

60. In most cases, where the procedure is used, the misconduct would be of a
    serious nature requiring a serious penalty such as exclusion from membership of
    ILEX.

61. IPS will be developing indicative sanctions guidelines. It is envisaged that these
    would be used as a starting point in determining the appropriate sanction.

62. Costs orders can be made by the Disciplinary Tribunal. The order reflects the
    legal costs incurred by IPS. The aim of determination by consent is to minimise
    costs in cases which are agreed. It is envisaged that most determinations by
    consent would be made prior to instruction of a legal practitioner. Therefore an
    order to make an award of costs would not be available under the determination
    by consent procedure.


Q 22 Do you agree that it should be possible to enter into determination
     by consent? If not, state why.

Q 23 Do you have any comments on the proposed criteria in which
     determinations by consent can be made?

Q 24 Do you agree that determination by consent should be offered by a
     senior officer and chair of the Professional Conduct Panel? If not,
     state why.

Q 25 Do you agree that all the disciplinary powers should be available
     under a determination by consent except the power to make an
     award of costs? If not, state why.




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PUBLICATION OF DECISIONS

63. It is proposed that the following policy will be developed on publication of
    decisions and whether decisions can become spent.

64. Under the current rules decisions of the Appeals Committee, Disciplinary Tribunal
    and Appeals Tribunal are publishable. Decisions are primarily published in the
    Legal Executive Journal. They are also reported to appropriate bodies such as
    the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and Office of the Immigration Services
    Commissioner (OISC). In future decisions will also be reported on the IPS
    website.

65. It is proposed that decisions of the Professional Conduct Panel should also
    become publishable. An order made by consent agreement will similarly be
    publishable.

66. It is recognised that in some instances that there may be exceptional reasons
    why a decision should not be published.

67. Each sanction is aimed at addressing the misconduct of a member and protecting
    the public. The majority of the sanctions, (warning, undertakings, conditions,
    exclusion and suspension) impose some controls or restrictions upon members in
    the interests of protecting consumers and the public. Those sanctions should be
    published so that the public and consumers are aware of them.

68. The aims of publication are to inform consumers, maintain public and professional
    confidence in ILEX members and IPS as a regulator, inform ILEX members and
    members of the profession generally and to encourage good practice standards.

69. The publication of disciplinary decisions would include the name of the member
    (unless an order is made that the name should not to be published), the charges
    against them and the decision and findings. Full records of the hearing would be
    available on request.

70. The directory of ILEX Fellows on the ILEX website would include a warning that
    the conduct web page should be viewed to find out the details of any disciplinary
    matters.

71. It is proposed that a decision to refer a case to the Disciplinary Tribunal should be
    published. Publication of these decisions carries the risk that unfounded cases
    cause serious detriment to a member’s professional reputation and possibly their
    employers. It might be argued that publication could also affect the fairness of a
    hearing. To counteract these concerns the publication will be limited to the name
    of the member and the date of the hearing.




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Q 26 Do you agree that decisions made by the Professional Conduct Panel
     should be published where an order has been made against a
     member? If not, state why.

Q 27 Do you agree that decisions should be published on the website? If
     not, state why.

Q 28 Do you agree that decisions to refer a matter to the Disciplinary
     Tribunal should be published? If not, state why.


Duration of publication
72. A policy has been developed about how long decisions should be publishable for.
    They are expressed as spent periods. When an order became spent, it would be
    removed from the public record.

73. In deciding the period of publication distinctions would be drawn between the
    sanctions imposed. Shorter publication periods are suitable for minor sanctions
    such as decisions to reprimand or fine. Other decisions have a long term impact
    and may remain published for longer periods of time or indefinitely.

74. The following spent periods are proposed:
        Reprimand – 1 year.
        Warning – 1 year.
        Undertakings – The nature of an Undertaking will determine whether it can
           become spent. Some Undertakings cannot become spent. Where they
           can become spent a 3 year period will apply.
        Conditions upon employment or membership – will remain until the
           member makes a successful application for the order to be revoked. Once
           it has been revoked it will become spent immediately.
        Fine – 3 years.
        Suspension – immediately after the period of suspension is lifted.
        Exclusion – see below.

75. Where more than one disciplinary power is used they will both become spent
    after the period for the more serious sanction expires.

76. The spent periods will apply to past cases.

77. IPS is undecided whether an exclusion order should become spent. There is an
    argument that short periods of exclusion could be become spent after the expiry
    of a time period which could be twice the period of exclusion. It could also be
    argued that orders should become spent upon the successful reinstatement of a
    person into membership of ILEX. Other cases are of a serious nature and it can



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  be argued that they should not become spent because the public should be
  aware of the order despite the passage of time. Views are sought on this issue.


Q 29 Do you agree that decisions should become spent? If not, state why.

Q 30 Do you have any comments on the proposed spent periods?

Q 31 Do you think that exclusion orders should become spent? If so, after
     what period should they become spent?




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CONSULTATION QUESTIONS

The questions are listed below. Please provide your responses on the attached
response form providing reasons for your answers.

Q1    Do you agree that the Professional Conduct Panel should meet as a panel of 3
      with 2 lay members and 1 professional member? If not, state why.

Q2    Do you have any other comments on the proposals relating to the Professional
      Conduct Panel?

Q3    Do you agree with the range of new matters to be delegated to the office to
      approve under the expedited procedure? If not, state why.

Q4    Are there any other prior conduct declarations that could be approved under
      the expedited procedure? If so, state what they are.

Q5    Do you agree that the burden of proof in Disciplinary Tribunal cases should be
      revised to the civil standard which is on the balance of probability? If not,
      state why.

Q6    Do you agree with the proposed timescales for submissions of appeals? If
      not, state why.

Q7    Do you agree that appeals against decisions made by the Professional
      Conduct Panel and Disciplinary Tribunal should be heard by one Appeals
      Panel? If not, state why

Q8    Do you agree that the right to a re-hearing should be removed? If not, state
      why.

Q9    Please provide any other comments you have on the proposals relating to
      appeals.

Q 10 Do you agree that unfounded cases should be rejected without a referral to
     the Professional Conduct Panel? If not, state why.

Q 11 Do you agree that the decision to reject a case should be made by a senior
     officer and the Professional Conduct Panel Chair? If not, state why.

Q 12 Do you have any other comments on the proposal to reject unfounded cases?




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Q 13 Do you agree the Rules should allow some cases to be referred to the
     Disciplinary Tribunal without recourse to the Professional Conduct Panel? If
     not, state why.

Q 14 Are there any types of case that could be added to the list of matters that can
     be referred directly to the Disciplinary Tribunal? If so, state what they are.

Q 15 Do you have any comments on the criteria to be used for these cases?

Q 16 Should decisions to refer to the Disciplinary Tribunal be made by the Panel
     Chair and a senior Officer?

Q 17 Do you agree that the Professional Conduct Panel should have the power to
     suspend a member from practice? Please provide reasons for your answer.

Q 18 Do you have any comments on the criteria against which suspension orders
     would be made?

Q 19 Do you agree that orders should be valid for 18 months and be reviewed
     every 6 months? It not, state why

Q 20 Do you agree an appeal should be made only against the original order? If
     not, state why.

Q 21 Do you have any other comments on the suspension arrangements?

Q 22 Do you agree that it should be possible to enter into determination by
     consent? If not, state why.

Q 23 Do you have any comments on the proposed criteria in which determinations
     by consent can be made?

Q 24 Do you agree that determination by consent should be offered by a senior
     officer and chair of the Professional Conduct Panel? If not, state why.

Q 25 Do you agree that all the disciplinary powers should be available under a
     determination by consent except the power to make an award of costs? If
     not, state why.

Q 26 Do you agree that decisions made by the Professional Conduct Panel should
     be published where an order has been made against a member? If not, state
     why.




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Q 27 Do you agree that decisions should be published on the website? If not, state
     why.

Q 28 Do you agree that decisions to refer a matter to the Disciplinary Tribunal
     should be published? If not, state why.

Q 29 Do you agree that decisions should become spent? If not, state why.

Q 30 Do you have any comments on the proposed spent periods?

Q 31 Do you think that exclusion orders should become spent? If so, after what
     period should they become spent?



HOW TO RESPOND

A response form has been produced for completion. Please send the response form
to IPS through one of the following methods:

   Email to bbasra@ilexstandards.org.uk

   By post to ILEX Professional Standards Ltd, Kempston Manor, Kempston, Bedford
    MK42 7AB

   By DX to ILEX Professional Standards Ltd, DX 124780 Kempston 2



SUBMISSION DEADLINE

The deadline for the submission of responses is 10 July 2009.




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