I have not studied all the new rules as passed at 2021 conference, but this is a note on proscribed acts and prohibited acts and how they are dealt with.

The existence and role of the Independent Review Board and Independent Complaints Panel are defined across multiple clauses and chapters of the rule book. I think it was designed such that all complaints about discrimination would be dealt with by the new independent review process; certainly this is how it was sold, I think it is two stage. i.e. one bunch of mates of David Evans finds you guilty and you can appeal to …… you get the idea although I should read that part of the rules more thoroughly and write a commentary. It’s certainly designed to be hard to read having cross references across three chapters and delegates at conference were given hours to read them. There is still a role for the NCC but I think it’s easy enough for the bureaucracy to avoid it both within the rules and by bureaucratic manipulation.

On top of this, there are proscribed and prohibited acts. Proscribed acts is supporting other parties in elections, or starting a vexatious legal case against the Party. The duty to offer the accused the rights of natural justice and the right to be fairly treated are excluded from the process of dealing with proscribed acts, but not prohibited acts.

Prohibited acts include supporting another party, physical abusing, threatening or harassing staff, but not other members, failing to pay cost awards against the party, being found guilty by a court of a serious offence, or being the subject of a safeguarding concern. The definition of supporting another party other than at elections is down to the NEC and for each of the organisations proscribed, they have a different list of activities.  These powers are defined in this rule,

Possessing membership of, providing financial assistance to, sitting on the ruling body of or otherwise supporting (as may be defined by the NEC) any political organisation that the NEC in its absolute discretion shall declare to be inimical with the aims and values of the Party.

Labour’s Rule Book

An NEC panel makes the decision which may be appealed to the NCC, on a series of limited grounds, but including,

B. The findings of the NEC are flawed or tainted by bias or unsupported by the evidence;

Labour’s Rule Book

The member is expelled at the point of the decision of the NEC.

The Forde Report says,

Whilst we recognise and applaud many aspects of the Party’s recent reforms of disciplinary procedures, we do have concerns that there appear to be no published procedures governing the use of administrative suspensions and that these appear to be operating without clear criteria for their use being widely available. We are also concerned that the provisions which allow for individuals to have membership removed or denied on the grounds they have committed prohibited acts could be exploited for factional purposes.

The Forde Report – Forward page 7

Crime and Punishment (in the Labour Party)
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