The Standards Commission is an independent body whose purpose is to encourage high ethical standards in public life through the promotion and enforcement of Codes of Conduct for councillors and those appointed to the boards of devolved public bodies.
Outcome of Appeal to Court of Session
11th March 2022
The Court of Session considered an appeal made by Councillor Mack of Renfrewshire Council against a decision by the Standards Commission to disqualify him for 16 months for a breach of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct. The Court determined that the disqualification period should be to 10 months, reduced to account for the period already served. The Court stated that it agree that with the Panel’s assessment that a disqualification was an appropriate sanction and noted: “that these were serious breaches; that the appellant had no basis for the allegations he was making; that they constituted gratuitous personal abuse; that the breaches were deliberate in nature, intended to be disrespectful, to cause offence and to harass; that the appellant had no insight, and had failed to learn from two prior suspensions imposed for breaching the code, thus raising issues about the prospect of repetition; that the breaches included not just discourtesy, disrespect and abuse towards other councillors, but involved intimidation and harassment of council employees; and that the breaches had the potential to disrupt working relations and pose a threat to the council’s reputation and to the role of elected representatives. In short, the panel was fully entitled to reach the conclusion that the only appropriate sanction was disqualification, and that the disqualification ought not to be brief”.
The Court of Session's decision can be found here