Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 173 (Mar)
Neutral Citation: [2002] EWHC 395 (Admin)
Court: Administrative Court
Judge:

Mitchell J

Representation Nigel Giffen (instructed by Ashol Patel & Co) for the claimant.
  Bryan McGuire (instructed by Kate Rome) for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 13 March 2002

Catchwords

Education - School - Pupil - Exclusion - Pupil permanently excluded by headmaster from school following violent incident - Committee of governing body confirming exclusion - Independent appeal panel dismissing appeal - Pupil claiming committee giving appearance of unfairness - Whether defect cured on appeal.

The Case

Although there were compelling reasons for holding that a discipline committee hearing and an independent appeal panel hearing were two independent hearings, neither of which should be tainted by unfairness or procedural irregularity. A way of ensuring that the decision makers at the discipline committee level were both fair and appeared to be fair was that they acted in the knowledge that their decisions were amenable to judicial review, although the occasions where it would be appropriate to take that step were rare. The mere fact that there was an appeal by way of a re-hearing to the appeal panel did not in itself debar resort to the Administrative Court in relation to a decision of a discipline committee in an appropriate case. It would, however be extremely difficult to justify an application for judicial review in any case of exclusion falling short of permanent exclusion, unless the pupil would be unable to sit a public examination. On the facts of the instant case, however, the unfairness had been curable, and had been cured on appeal.

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