§ Mr. Lubbock
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reply he has made to the request from the Council on Tribunals for a report on the procedure adopted by the tribunal considering the appeals of Police Constables Bourne and MacLennan; and if he will place a copy of the report in the Library of the House.
§ Mr. Brooke
The Secretary of the Council on Tribunals sought the comments of my Department on representations made to the Council about the procedure followed on these disciplinary appeals under the Police (Appeals) Acts, 1927 and 1943. The representations pointed out that a member of the public concerned in the alleged disciplinary offences was not called to give evidence at the inquiry which I ordered: that the inquiry was held in private: and that no reasons were given for the decision taken.
The Council have been informed that under Rule 8 of the Police (Appeals) Rules 1943 (S.I. 1943, No. 473) the inquiry was conducted by way of a rehearing of the disciplinary charge, and it was accordingly for the appellant and respondent to decide what evidence they should call in support of their respective cases. A tribunal holding an inquiry into a disciplinary appeal has power to subpoena witnesses, and this power is normally exercised only on the application of the appellant or respondent.
In this case the tribunal sat in private in accordance with Rule 7 of the same Rules. I have undertaken to consider whether any consequential amendment of this Rule is required when, after the forthcoming review of the Police (Discipline) Regulations, these regulations have been amended to entitle a complainant to be present at a police disciplinary hearing.
In accordance with Section 2(3) of the Police (Appeals) Act, 1927, a copy of the tribunal's report was sent to the appellants and respondent with my decision on the appeals.