Publishing SRA charges ‘discriminates against those with unusual surnames’

first_imgI recently represented an Iranian-born solicitor – let us call him Mr Zadini – in disciplinary proceedings at the SDT. Some of the allegations against Mr Zadini were very serious, but he was not responsible for any of the serious regulatory breaches because he did not carry out any of the relevant work within the firm. One of Mr Zadini’s partners accepted responsibility for the serious matters and the SRA withdrew the allegations against him. He was dealt with only for two breaches of the accounts rules and one minor matter dealing with inadequate cascading of money-laundering information within the firm. His culpability fell towards the bottom of the scale. He was fined £2,000. In the meantime his business had been wrecked, not least because of the SRA’s policy of publicising forthcoming disciplinary appearances by solicitors. If you were to put Mr Zadini’s name into Google you would find on the first page ‘Solicitors Regulation Authority Solicitor ID 123456 – record check’. With one click you would find yourself at the SRA webpage ‘Published regulatory and disciplinary outcomes’. With two more clicks you would find the six charges faced by Mr Zadini. If you were thinking of instructing Mr Zadini to carry out some legal work for you, I suspect you would think again. I spend much of my professional life trying to help and advise solicitors in trouble with their regulator. Some deserve harsh disciplinary treatment, but many do not. Time after time my clients complain to me about the unfairness of having the disciplinary charges published by the SRA on its website, there for all to see. And time after time they report a downturn in new instructions as a result of that catastrophic publicity. Is this fair? To my mind the answer is no. The SRA has a very wide range of regulatory powers. It can impose conditions upon practising certificates, and in this way it can efficiently protect the public interest pending the resolution of disciplinary charges by the SDT. It has no need to publish those charges to the world at large. Often it does not impose any conditions upon solicitors who are facing charges. Whether it does or not, a careful judgement is made as to what the public interest requires. Such conditions are inevitably imposed for the protection of the public, and are, properly, published on the SRA website. Back in June 2007, when the publication policy was being thrashed out, Peter Williamson, chairman of the SRA, wrote in the Gazette: ‘The consequences of publishing disciplinary information could have serious effects and there will need to be appropriate thresholds and safeguards, including the right of appeal to the SDT.’ That admirable statement of principle has since been entirely abandoned. There are no thresholds and there is no right of appeal. Instead, all referrals to the SDT are published on the SRA website unless the solicitor concerned is fortunate enough to be represented by one of the very few firms of solicitors who oppose this indiscriminate policy. And there is no right of appeal to the SDT against a decision to refer a case to the SDT (any challenge must be by way of judicial review – there has been no reported successful challenge). There is another reason why the policy produces manifest unfairness. It discriminates against those with unusual surnames. My instructing solicitor in the Zadini case was the redoubtable Nigel West of Radcliffes le Brasseur. If you web-searched Mr West, you would have to wade through pages of materials about the eponymous spy writer before finding anything about Nigel West the solicitor. I cannot help believing that the SRA publication policy must discriminate against ethnic minority lawyers. It is time that the SRA reconsidered and abandoned its policy of indiscriminate publication and formulated a more rational and proportionate one. Gregory Treverton-Jones QC is a barrister at 39 Essex Street chambers, London, and co-author of The Solicitor’s Handbooklast_img read more

Dominica working towards land use policy

first_img Share Tweet 20 Views   no discussions Director of the Caribbean Network for Urban Land Management Dr. Asad MohammedDirector of the Caribbean Network for Urban Land Management Dr. Asad Mohammed has said a comprehensive land policy integration and coordination among agencies is critical towards a sustainable land policy. Dominica and other OECS countries are in the process of developing a National Land Use Policy and Management, funded by the United Nation Human’s Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) and the UWI, St Augustine Campus to the tune of one million US dollars.The objective of the project is to achieve enhanced sustainability of development in the OECS economic development, poverty reduction, social stability and the protection of environmentally sensitive areas –through the formulation, adoption and implementation of comprehensive land polices.Dr. Asad told a National Land Issues Workshop at the Garraway Hotel on Thursday 13th June, that there must be harmonization of policies at a national and regional level for a sustainable land policy. Independent Architecture & Planning Professional, Isaac Baptiste“The comprehensive land management and the comprehensive land policy issue, in my mind, remains the bottom line of a sustainable land policy and that meets its comprehensiveness. I feel that the biggest obstacle that we have is not at the regional level in terms of sharing ideas and integration and working together the problem tends to be at a national level”.He said although many of the components of comprehensive land policy takes place, there is very little inadequate coordination and sharing of data between agencies within countries.Meanwhile, Independent Architecture & Planning Professional Isaac Baptiste Isaac Baptiste told the workshop that land degradation, urban encroachment, loss of biodiversity and coastal zone management are some of the main concerns surrounding land use in Dominica. Participants of the National Land Issues Workshop at the Garraway Hotel on Thursday He said the government is in the process of commissioning preparation of two significant forward physical planning tools (a national land use policy and a national zoning plan) to facilitate more informed decision making with respect to the use/development of land throughout the island. There are currently 17 pieces of major legislation relating to land management and administration in Dominica. Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Eisenhower Douglas said his ministry will continue to support moves to implement a comprehensive land policy for Dominica. Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring!center_img LocalNews Dominica working towards land use policy by: – June 13, 2013 Share Sharelast_img read more

Over 7000 ambulance calls responded to by Fire and Ambulance services in 2018

first_img Share LocalNews Over 7000 ambulance calls responded to by Fire and Ambulance services in 2018 by: – January 11, 2019 Share Share Tweetcenter_img Sharing is caring! 293 Views   no discussions Public Relations Officer of the Dominica Fire and Ambulance Services, Wayne Letang stated that during the year the Fire and Ambulance Services responded to an excess of 7000 ambulance calls across the island.He said the approximate amount is 7284 and would have represented a slight increase over that of 2017. “We also had 187 fire calls responded to and those calls were statistics from all over the island which included the various stations,” Letang stated.Meantime Letang said that although the year was a challenging one, fire officers were still able to continue their hard work in rescue, fire prevention, fire safety and other activities.He said a number of activities were carried out by the Fire Prevention Unit in 2018, and there was a slight decrease in the number of activities that were conducted in the fire prevention unit.Letang said approximately 2335 persons were trained in fire safety and first aid during 2018.“We had in first aid 417 persons trained and in fire safety and evacuation management. We had 1594 persons trained,” he stated.Letang said as it relates to accident calls the Fire and Ambulance Services responded to 70 accident calls during the year and the Roseau Fire Station responded to 44 of those accidents.last_img read more

Club backs charity Stadium Challenge

first_imgChris Cowlin has tasked himself with running around each stadium in 12 days, while raising money for the Willow Foundation.He visited Ashton Gate on Thursday (June 7th) on day four of his England and Wales-wide challenge.Former City player-turned kitman Scott Murray was on hand to welcome Chris on Thursday morning, presenting him with two signed and match-worn boots as well as a signed Manchester City programme.The club legend even ran around the stadium with Chris, who is promoting his challenge via Twitter. Chris said: “I am so excited by this challenge, it is something different and it’s all over the country.”I have heard and read that many fans have done the 92 grounds, but no one has ever done this challenge before, running around all of the grounds.”He added: “It is a new challenge for me running 50-odd miles in 12 days…I love helping people and raising money for charty, particularly Willow, who provide such great and memorial days for seriously ill young adults.”Chris went on to Forest Green Rovers’ New Lawn after departing BS3, before heading to the Cardiff City Stadium, Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium and the County Ground at Swindon Town.The Willow Foundation was set up by former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson and his wife, whose daughter died from cancer aged 31.To visit Chris’ donations page and to contribute to the cause, click here.last_img read more