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To the ends of the earth: reappraising trust in the profession

In the post-LSA professional environment, rehabilitation rather than automatic strike off might be a more appropriate way of dealing with low-level dishonesty, suggests Susanna Heley

1 May 2019

Solicitors who are sanctioned by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal have an automatic right of appeal to the High Court.

Similarly, the SRA has a right to appeal without needing the permission of either the SDT or the High Court.

This unfettered right of appeal has meant that the High Court has been called upon to adjudicate cases which might not otherwise have come before it.

The extent to which High Court decisions have created precedent has led to a rather rigid approach to certain issues in relation to which the hands of the SDT have been firmly and repeatedly tied again and again. 

The obvious immediate example is the question of dishonesty – particularly in relation to the recent controversial case of Emily Scott.

But the High Court has also issued decisions which have had a material impact on the approach to costs, breaches of the accounts rules, integrity, admissibility of character evidence and the approach the SDT should adopt in ...

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