Police Law Blog European Decisions Statutory Materials

Selection of Legally Qualified Chairs in misconduct hearings

A short post on a change in the Home Office Guidance. It now states that the selection of LQCs should be on a “fair and transparent basis”. Good practice will be selection through a “rota system”. A rota system may not necessarily work with LQCs’ other professional commitments. Often, appropriate authorities will inform all LQCs of a hearing and select them on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis. That said, if more than one LQC responds, there is no reason why a rota system cannot then apply. Note, also, that the Guidance suggests that the manner of selection should be made clear to all parties to the hearing, which really means the respondent officer(s).

The relevant part of the HO Guidance is as follows: [emphasis added]

2.215. The appropriate authority is responsible for appointing all three panel members. The LQC must be chosen from a list of candidates which is selected and maintained by the local policing body through the process described in Annex F. The appropriate authority should select the LQC at the earliest opportunity following the decision to refer to misconduct proceedings. In accordance with procedural fairness and principles of natural justice, the selection of the LQC should be on a fair and transparent basis. Good practice will be selection through a rota system by which the next available LQC is selected for the next hearing. Bad practice will be to select on the basis of which LQC will be more likely to give the verdict required. The manner of selection should be made clear to all parties to the hearing.