Rachel Crasnow QC in victory for Labour Party: High Court rules Courts will not micromanage disciplinary processes: Neslen & Others v Evans

Rachel Crasnow QC has successfully defended the Labour Party against High Court claims alleging a breach of natural justice of the Party’s disciplinary procedures.

The Claimants who are Labour Party members and activists were subject to allegations of antisemitism which the Party was investigating. The Claimants suggested the Party had breached its contractual obligation to treat them fairly, particularly following the October 2020 EHRC Report on Antisemitism in the Labour Party.

The High Court on 8 July 2021 dismissed all the claims and found the Party had met its obligation to treat the Claimants fairly. There was no breach of natural justice. Mr Justice Butcher said the Court ought not to interfere with the Party’s disciplinary procedures particularly not when the EHRC as a regulator is assisting with any review of such processes.

This is a seminal judgment and delivers a clear direction to regulatory and public law lawyers and those involved in internal disciplinary matters, as to what those under investigation can expect as part of a fair process. Mr Justice Butcher said “The courts are very reluctant to intervene in ongoing disciplinary proceedings, and will only do so if the matter in question is such a breach as cannot be remedied in the proceedings themselves, and will not micromanage the disciplinary process”. The link to the judgment is here.

Rachel was instructed by Blaser Mills LLP in this case.