Independent Comparative Case Review

Updated 3 June 2014

In mid-2012, the SRA commissioned Professor Gus John to undertake a comparative review of how the SRA has dealt with disciplinary cases. Professor John looked at 160 files:

  • 80 files prepared by the SRA for prosecution at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in cases where the SDT findings or judgement has been published;
  • 80 files which were dealt with by internal adjudication.

Half the files relate to BME individuals and half to white individuals.

Terms of reference

The terms of reference (PDF 3 pages, 163K) were agreed in December 2012 with the Equality Implementation Group chaired by Lord Ouseley, a group which was set up in 2008 to work with the SRA to address issues of disproportionality among BME members of the profession.

In September 2013, the SRA approved a proposal from Professor Gus John to extend the scope of the review to include an examination of the impact of outcomes-focused regulation and to conduct two surveys of external advocates who represent the SRA at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) and respondents who had been subject to regulatory sanctions by the SRA or SDT.

Report and executive summary

A full report of the review, which makes recommendations for consideration by the SRA, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and the Law Society of England and Wales, was released in March 2014.

You can download the report or an executive summary below.

About Professor Gus John

Professor Gus John has been involved in policy development and training on education, community development, equality and race relations issues for over 30 years. He has advised the Law Society on its performance in promoting equality and human rights in the past and is experienced in evaluating the performance of public sector bodies. Following the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, he was commissioned by the Crown Prosecution Service in 2003 to review its performance in promoting equality and his report "Race for Justice" drew together the findings from a review of 15,000 prosecutors' case files across 10 CPS areas for bias in prosecutors' decision-making on account of race and gender.

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