Labour’s Chakrabarti Inquiry

I don’t know how popular my hosting of the LP rules has become, but the Labour Party doesn’t really get permalinks. I have decided in the interests of informed debate to mirror Labour’s Chakrabarti Inquiry findings. Labour’s launch of the report was a debacle and fell foul of the dead cat on the table disruption. I haven’t finished reading it yet

  1. The LP Home Page
  2. The LP Report
  3. My Mirror of the Report, the Chakrabarti Inquiry

4 thoughts on “Labour’s Chakrabarti Inquiry

  1. On suspensions and sanctions,

    … an early lesson that any new General Counsel might offer his/her colleagues is on the application of the vital legal principles of due process (or natural justice) and proportionality. I hope that my earlier comments make clear that I do not subscribe to the view that every allegation of misconduct within the Party is a factional mischief, but nor do I feel that every investigation warrants immediate publicity (a punishment in itself), nor administrative suspension (with the inevitable shame and opprobrium that is likely to follow) – even if the allegation has attracted public controversy.

    It is important to remember that the beginning of an investigation into alleged misconduct is just that.The making of a complaint marks the beginning, not the end, of a hopefully fair process that might end in a warning, admonishment, some further sanction up to and including expulsion from the Party, or exoneration and no further action whatsoever.

    Once you understand these basic natural justice principles, you realise that administrative suspension from the Labour Party need not be employed every (or nearly every) time a complaint (however credible) is made against a member.

    .. [courts] do not grant interim injunctions, nor … issue arrest warrants every time a complaint is made. The principle of proportionality requires some consideration of any grave and summary sanction that will no doubt have a detrimental effect on a person who is yet to be investigated, let alone heard.

    I appreciate and believe that behavioural standards must be higher in a progressive political party than they are in the country generally. However, due process standards should be equally high. I find it regrettable, to say the least, that some subjects of recent suspension and disciplinary process, under the Party’s disciplinary procedures, found out about their suspensions and investigations as a result of media reporting rather than notice from the Party itself. Staff or elected officials should never feel it necessary (even during a pre-election media frenzy) Рto operate a presumption of suspension. If anything, the presumption should be against interim suspension. The question should be about the seriousness of any immediate damage that the person subject to investigation might do to the Party if allowed to continue as a member in the meantime.

  2. As with all aspects of this Inquiry, I am grateful for the variety of the submissions received, in this case ranging from “pitches” to design values-lead training to critiques of the idea that anti-racism training can ever be effective and nervousness that one strand or another in the Party’s thinking should be given a privileged position in relation to describing and disseminating the boundaries of acceptable attitudes and behaviour.

    and

    There should be specific training for all staff and members involved in the investigations and disciplinary process.

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