Institute to go public with tribunal hearings

This week’s ICAEW council meeting was
expected to approve plans to fix a date to open hearings for disciplinary and
appeals cases heard before its tribunals.

The majority of professional bodies hold their hearings in public and the
Professional Oversight Board has recommended that the institute changes.

Proposals point to the AIDB’s successful airing of the Mayflower case, in
which the institute said no significant issues occurred which bear on the
decision to hold a public hearing.

‘A modern professional body must demonstrate that its processes are objective
and in the public interest,’ said Vernon Soare, ICAEW executive director of
professional standards.

The ICAEW council had previously concluded that issues such as implications
for client confidentiality and the risk of action for defamation should not
inhibit a public tribunal.

While it has been recommended to the council that all hearings are open,
exceptional occasions could see closed tribunals, such as where the public
interest is at risk.

The proposed effective date is 1 January 2008. The decision will cost the
institute £30,000 to meet additional costs.

The institute’s tribunals tend to deal with smaller cases than those handled
by the AIDB.

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