Sanctions process documented

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has responded to calls for increased transparency by producing a document detailing its processes and the sanctions it can impose.

Tribunal president Andrew Spooner said: “The guidance effectively codifies in one document the approach to sanctions that has been adopted by the tribunal for many years.

“We hope that it will be of assistance to members of the public and the profession and to those who appear before the tribunal.”

The document will be updated to reflect current best practise and case law.

The move follows renewed criticism of the tribunal from the Society of Black Solicitors.

Clerk to the tribunal Susan Humble welcomed the publication of the guidance as a sign of SDT’s transparency.

She said: “Save for in a very few exceptional cases where the tribunal has heard submissions from the parties and directed otherwise, hearings take place in public and fully-reasoned judgments are published on the tribunal’s website available to all to download free of charge.

“Publication of this guidance builds on the SDT’s existing transparency and enables the parties, public and the profession to understand clearly how the SDT reached a particular decision on sanction.”

The guidance is available on the SDT site.

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