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Anonymity following SDT Proceedings

28th July, 2016

Partner Paul Bennett has written this article on Anonymity following SDT Proceedings.

Recently, the High Court in the case of SRA v Spector [2016] EWHC 37 (Admin) has reversed an order made by the SDT allowing the Third Respondent to remain anonymous despite him having been found guilty of an offence.

The Tribunal stated that whilst it understood that it is important for judgments to be published with the interests of transparency and that normally an application for anonymity would only be considered where no allegations were proved, they were satisfied that the circumstances were similar to those in the case of SRA v Grindod No.11030-2012. In that case, the Tribunal had granted anonymity to the Second and Third Respondent when they were found guilty of only technical breaches.

The High Court ruled that the Tribunal erred in law in making the anonymity order and that, “Open justice is a fundamental principle of the common law”. It was stated that the Tribunal failed to recognise the importance of the open justice principle, the Tribunal misconceived their own Publication Policy, the Tribunal’s wish to act consistently with Grindod provides no support for its decision and there was no secret to be preserved; the Third Respondent was identified in the public proceedings and he was named on the Court hearing lists which were still available on the SDT’s website. The High Court finished by stating, “There is no reason why Richard Spector should not be identified as the Third Respondent”.

If you are facing proceedings before the SDT and/or allegations from the SRA, contact our Professional Practices Department immediately who can provide you with specialist legal advice.

Paul Bennett

Professional Practices and Employment Law

01743 453685

[email protected]

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