Ministry of Justice ordered to reconsider a decision

13/08/2014

Ministry of Justice ordered to reconsider a decision not to offer a defendant with significant learning disabilities a Registered Intermediary

 

We recently succeeded in an application at The High Court for our client to be given access to a Registered Intermediary at his trial.

A useful starting point is the distinction between a Registered Intermediary and a Non Registered Intermediary.

Registered Intermediaries must be graduates or of equivalent qualification.  An Intermediary Registration Board (IRB) oversees recruitment, training, assessment and professional compliance.  All Registered Intermediaries must have completed a six-module training course at graduate level and a rigorous assessment and accreditation process.  Registered Intermediaries must notify the IRB immediately of any criminal investigation or proceedings against them or of any other complaint or investigation into their conduct or competence as well as of any adverse Criminal Records Bureau disclosure checks.  They have a Code of Practice and a Code of Ethics.

There are on the other hand no requirements at all in relation to Non Registered Intermediaries!  They are unregulated and there is no professional framework within which they are required to operate.

We sought to challenge the decision of the MOJ in refusing to allow a Registered Intermediary for our client who is a young man with a significant learning disabilities and Asperger’s Syndrome, awaiting trial at Cheltenham Magistrates Court for dishonestly receiving a motor vehicle on 8 October 2012.

Following the final hearing on 11th April 2014, our application on behalf of our client was allowed and the decision of the Defendant refusing to provide a Registered Intermediary was set aside.

One must consider how the Ministry of Justice would have successfully argued that refusal to give equal provision for a prosecution witness and defendant would be considered fair? Surely it is the defendant that has more to lose, after all, is he not the one that is being brought to justice.

Click here for the link to read the full judgement http://www.crimeline.info/case/r-op-v-secretary-of-state-for-justice

 

Mandy Hargun – Solicitor for the claimant

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