Update on Double Jeopardy in Disciplinary Proceedings
In an article posted on 1st June 2012, we explained the decision in Christou and Ward v London Borough of Haringey which was subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeal. This case related to two employees involved in the Baby P case who were subject to two separate disciplinary procedures both relating to their involvement in Baby P’s care. A warning had been imposed as a result of the first procedure but this was considered too lenient by new management who instigated a second procedure and ultimately dismissed Ms Christou and Ms Ward. They claimed that their dismissals were unfair as they were being disciplined twice for the same conduct on the same set of facts. The Court of Appeal have now issued its decision and has found that, in the limited circumstances of the case, the dismissals were fair. This is an exceptional case which was influenced by the public interest. Ordinarily, it will be unfair for an employee to be disciplined twice for the same conduct.