0370 270 6000

New Supreme Court dishonesty test applied in regulation

10 November 2017
A teacher was found guilty of all charges including dishonesty before a professional discipline tribunal in a decision handed down on 8 November 2017. The panel were satisfied that the new test of dishonesty as provided for by the Supreme Court in Ivey v Genting Casinos [2017] UKSC 67 should be applied.

For many years, following the now disavowed case of Ghosh as developed in professional discipline matters through the line of authority in Twinsectra, regulators have applied a two stage test when assessing whether an individual’s conduct could be considered objectively dishonest, and if it could, whether that was appreciated subjectively by the individual at the time of the misconduct.

Despite having previously signed a document admitting that his conduct was dishonest pursuant to the Ghosh standard several months before the hearing, Mr Roberts applied at the 11th hour to resile from this admission on the grounds of the second limb of Ghosh - namely that he did not appreciate that his comparatively minor misdemeanours in benefitting personally from school expense claims might be considered dishonest.

Following submissions made by Andrew Cullen, presenting officer on behalf of the National College, the panel were satisfied that the second limb of Ghosh was no longer good law and that it only had to consider whether, by the standards of reasonable and honest people, Mr Roberts was guilty of dishonest misconduct.

This decision applying the Supreme Court decision of Ivey handed down on 26 October 2017 will be one of the first in the context of professional discipline proceedings. Regulators can take comfort, acting in the public interest, that dishonesty allegations only require an assessment as to whether, objectively, misconduct is dishonest; and no longer be concerned with assessing if an individual appreciated this at the time. It is a common sense decision which protects the public and upholds the reputational standards required across all professional disciplines.

Related opinions

Judicial Review of school exclusion reconsideration dismissed on all grounds

The recent case of R (on the application of A Parent) v Governing Body of XYZ School [2022] EWHC 1146 (Admin) provides some welcome and reassuring guidance to governing boards on the exclusion reconsideration process.

View blog

60 seconds with… Emma Hughes

With 19 HR experts now supporting over 500 schools and trusts across the country, in this edition of 60 seconds we sit down with Emma Hughes, who leads the team, to discuss what this significant milestone means to her.

View blog

Fines for unsafe removal of asbestos in schools

In order to reduce the risk of potential breaches, schools should follow this Health and Safety Executive guidance.

View blog

Asbestos: Still the UK’s number one occupational killer

A ResPublica report highlighted that asbestos continues to be the UK’s number one occupational killer, with nurses and teachers 3 to 5 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general UK population. The House of Commons Work & Pensions Select Committee is investigating how the HSE manages the continued presence of asbestos in buildings.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up