Olivia Checa-Dover acts for the Metropolitan Police Service in successful police misconduct judicial review before The Honourable Mrs Justice Heather Williams

31 October 2022

The Metropolitan Police brought a claim for judicial review of the Police Appeals Tribunal ("PAT") decision to overturn a finding of dishonesty and reinstate two officers. Following a hearing before The Honourable Mrs Justice Heather Williams, the judicial review succeeded and the PAT decision was quashed, with the High Court substituting the same with its own decision to dismiss the appeal. 

The full judgment can be found here: https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2022/2711.html

The key point of wider application, however, is a re-emphasis of the threshold required to make out an "unreasonable" argument on appeal to the PAT. In particular, the court held as follows [at 57]:

"Accordingly, consistent with this case law and the consequences of upholding a rule 4(4)(a) appeal, in determining whether a Panel's finding of misconduct / gross misconduct was "unreasonable" within the meaning of rule 4(4)(a):

i) The PAT must ask itself whether this finding was one that was within or outside of the range of reasonable findings that the Panel could have made;

ii) The PAT should keep in mind that the rule 4(4)(a) test is not met simply by showing a deficiency in the Panel's reasoning or a failure to consider a particular piece of evidence or similar error, if the finding of misconduct / gross misconduct was nonetheless one that the Panel could reasonably have arrived at. The question is whether that finding is unreasonable;

iii) The PAT will be careful not to substitute its own view as to what should have been the outcome of the charges. Whether the PAT agrees or disagrees with the Panel and whether it thinks it would have found the allegations proven if it had been hearing the disciplinary proceedings is not in point, as this in itself does not indicate that the Panel's finding was "unreasonable". In many circumstances, different and opposing views can both be reasonable; and

iv) The PAT should consider all of the material that was before the Panel, whether or not the Panel made express reference to it in the decision."

Olivia Checa-Dover acted for the successful claimant.


Olivia Checa-Dover

Call 2007

Related areas

Police Law


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