Aaron v The Law Society (the Office of the Supervision of Solicitors): QBD 13 Oct 2003

The appellant challenged an order suspending him from practice as a solicitor for two years. He had previous findings of professional misconduct in failing to pay counsels’ fees. In the course of later disciplinary proceedings he was found to have misled the court as to the circumstances of a tribunal hearing when obtaining a stay. He complained inter alia of delay in the proceedings.
Held: When looking at the delay, time was calculated from the date of institution of proceedings, not the investigation. Auld LJ: ‘Disciplinary proceedings before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal are analogous to criminal proceedings. The uncertainty that springs from and festers with unnecessary and unreasonable delay can, in itself, cause great injustice to practising solicitors, whose livelihood and professional reputations are at stake.’

Lord Justice Auld Mr Justice Goldring
[2003] EWHC 2271 (Admin)
Solicitors’ Act 1974 49, European Convention on Human Rights 6
England and Wales
CitedIn re A Solicitor CA 1945
An appeal against the findings of the Tribunal to the CA is by way of a rehearing and the Court may make such as order as it thinks fit. . .
CitedIn Re A Solicitor QBD 13-May-1992
In disciplinary proceedings before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, allegations must be proved to the criminal standard, and certainly so where the allegations are serious and may result in suspension or disqualification. Hearsay evidence . .
CitedKonig v Federal Republic of Germany ECHR 28-Jun-1978
The reasonableness of the duration of proceedings must be assessed according to the circumstances of each case, including its complexity, the applicant’s conduct and the manner in which the administrative and judicial authorities dealt with the . .
CitedZimmermann And Steiner v Switzerland ECHR 13-Jul-1983
When considering cases of delay in court proceedings, the court must look to a further relevant circumstance, that is ‘what is at stake for the applicant’. . .
CitedPorter and Weeks v Magill HL 13-Dec-2001
Councillors Liable for Unlawful Purposes Use
The defendant local councillors were accused of having sold rather than let council houses in order to encourage an electorate which would be more likely to be supportive of their political party. They had been advised that the policy would be . .
MentionedE v United Kingdom ECHR 1988
. .
MentionedGuincho v Portugal ECHR 10-Jul-1984
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 6-1; Pecuniary damage – financial award
Where there are multiple complaints or charges, about which delay is alleged, time should run from the . .
CitedAttorney General’s Reference (No 2 of 2001) CACD 12-Jul-2001
When assessing whether the defendant’s right to a trial within a reasonable time had been infringed, the court should look as from the date at which he was charged, or served with a summons, and not from the date of the first interview. Although a . .
CitedAlbert And Le Compte v Belgium (Article 50) ECHR 24-Oct-1983
The applicants were Belgian nationals and medical practitioners. Dr Le Compte was suspended from practising medicine for two years for an offence against professional discipline. He appealed to the Appeals Council, alleging violations of Article 6. . .
CitedAttorney General’s Reference (No 1 of 1990) CACD 1990
A police officer attended an incident where two people were arrested. Complaints about his conduct were made of which he was given notice. A formal investigation was instituted and adjourned pending the outcome of criminal proceedings against those . .
CitedDarmalingum v The State PC 10-Jul-2000
(Mauritius) The constitutional right of a defendant to have his case tried within a reasonable time applied not just to the initial trial but also to any appeal arising from that trial. Where there had been inordinate and inexcusable delay between . .
CitedGoose v Wilson Sandford and Co and Mainon CA 13-Feb-1998
A judge was properly criticised for failing to write up a judgment when the witness’ evidence was still fresh in his mind. A two year delay required a re-trial.
Peter Gibson LJ explained the potential effect of delay on the formulation and . .

Cited by:
CitedCampbell v Hamlet (as executrix of Simon Alexander) PC 25-Apr-2005
(Trinidad and Tobago) The appellant was an attorney. A complaint was made that he had been given money to buy land, but neither had the land been conveyed nor the money returned. The complaint began in 1988, but final speeches were not heard until . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Legal Professions, Human Rights

Updated: 23 December 2021; Ref: scu.186736