Top Government lawyer denies bullying
Posted: 4th August 2014
A senior Ministry of Justice lawyer who vehemently denies accusations that he bullied and harassed more junior colleagues has failed to convince the High Court that disciplinary proceedings against him should be blocked.
The lawyer, who had been suspended from his post on full pay for over two years, insisted that the allegations were ‘trumped up’ and ‘fabricated’ by two complainants. However, two internal investigations resulted in conclusions that there was sufficient evidence to justify formal disciplinary proceedings.
He sought an injunction to stop those proceedings. He argued, amongst other things, that he had been given no fair opportunity to challenge the complainants’ accounts. The Court acknowledged that some of the details of his case had not been put to the complainants and that one of them had put obstacles in the way of that exercise.
However, in dismissing the application, the Court found that, if there had been any degree of unfairness, it had not been sufficient to taint the entire process so as to require it to be brought to a halt. The Court was not in the business of micro-managing internal disciplinary matters and any shortcomings in the process were insufficiently serious to justify judicial intervention.