Conference Agenda Oct 2021 PRINT - Flipbook - Page 20
“7.3 Members should take care to not bring the
Green Party into disrepute by engaging in unethical
conduct.” Disrepute may have been elucidated by
DC, GPRC Appeals or the DCRG by examples. Ideally
a definition would be in the Framework of Ethics &
Conduct that is about to be introduced.
Can a suspended member be a complainant
Can a member who is suspended be a complainant?
Can a complaint be submitted where a suspended
member is the respondent?
SOC reply was as follows:
A ruling was made by SOC in Spring 2019: “Does a
suspended member have access to the complaints
system? Is a person who initiates a complaint as a
member entitled to progress that complaint if they
are subsequently suspended or expelled before their
complaint is heard?
The SOC ruling in 2019 was:
If a member who is either Complainant or Respondent
ceases to be a member due to suspension, expulsion,
resignation or non-renewal whilst the complaint
is being investigated, then a decision would need
to be made as to whether to continue the internal
investigation. Although SOPD does not make it
clear who would make that decision, SOC are of
the view that it would be made by Referral Group
under SOPD 3.3 “Members of the Referral Group
shall each consider whether the complaint should be
dismissed, be referred to the Committee or to another
appropriate body within or outside the party.” Unless
the Complainant withdraws the complaint then it will
be a decision of the Referral Group to progress it or
not. This would apply even if the Complainant member
were suspended, expelled or had left the Party.”
The assumption in 2019 was that suspension meant that a
suspended member ‘ceased to be a member’ but there is
nothing in the documentation to say that this is the case.
The detail of what suspension of membership involves or
allows is not covered in SOPD or the constitution.
The current SOC are of the view that a member under a
no-fault suspension pending an investigation and hearing
can make and progress a complaint. The member is
suspended from participation in other Party activities
but is not excluded from participation in Party Discipline
processes as they are a Respondent. SOC are also of the
view that this applies to suspension as a penalty following
a hearing prior to an Appeal being heard. The suspended
member is entitled to participate in Party Disciplinary
processes or they could not make an Appeal.
The situation is less clear following an Appeal if the
suspension penalty is upheld, as the suspended member
is then outside the Disciplinary Process, but if the
member was able to participate when under no-fault
suspension and when under suspension pending Appeal,
SOC is of the view that the right to participate in Party
Discipline processes would continue in the absence of any
documentation to say that it does not continue.
A right to participate in Party Discipline processes would
mean that a suspended member could make a Complaint
or be a Respondent in a complaint. As stated in the ruling
from 2019, it would be for the Referral Group to decide
how to deal with a complaint by or against a suspended
These are SOC views and no ruling can be made based
on Party documentation as there is no internal document
available to SOC to say what ‘suspension’ means. DC and/
or GPRC have powers to suspend members and must
therefore decide between them what suspension involves
and also whether a no-fault suspension differs in any way
from a penalty suspension, other than in duration.
Can GPRC issue a rebuke to a member of GPEx
GPRC Co-chairs asked whether GPRC could issue a rebuke
to a member of GPEx or whether this had to be done
through Disciplinary Committee.
2 members of SOC recused from the making a ruling. The
remaining 3 members agreed:
SOC note that GPRC can recall members of GPEx and that
this is not a disciplinary measure of the type that GPRC
cannot take. SOC are of the view that a rebuke is a motion
of the same type as recall, but of lesser strength, and that
GPRC can rebuke a member of GPEx.
MB was concerned that the required procedures were
not followed by the Committee established by GPEx at
its meeting on the 7th November 2020 to identify Green
Party spokespeople. MB asked SOC to determine whether
the procedures were followed or not, and as a separate
matter whether that invalidates the process and makes any
appointments made invalid.
SOC determined that the process had been as follows:
At its meeting on 7thNovember 2020 Molly Scott
Cato presented a paper on the ‘Process to update
Speaker List for discussion.’ Other items listed for
discussion on the same agenda such as B3 are
recorded as ‘discussion’ in the Minutes, however
that word is not used with B8. Neither is decision,