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Laverie v The Scottish Ministers [2017] CSOH 45

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Laverie v The Scottish Ministers [2017] CSOH 45

20 March 2017

The petitioner sought judicial review of his removal from membership of the Board of Management of Glasgow Clyde College, a state-funded college of further education. Following investigations into the Board’s performance in 2015, Scottish Ministers exercised their powers under the Further & Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992 to remove several members of the Board for failures of governance and management. As a consequence of the applicable legislative provisions, the petitioner’s removal meant that he was precluded for life from being appointed to management boards at various higher education institutions in Scotland.  Among other complaints, the petitioner alleged that his rights had been violated under three separate articles of the European Convention on Human Rights: article 6 (fair trial rights), article 11 (trade union rights) and article 1 of the First Protocol (right to protection of possessions).  The Court rejected all these arguments, as well as a common law challenge to the rationality of the Ministers’ decision.  Lord Clark’s Opinion usefully considers a range of Convention case law as applicable to the appointment and removal of those occupying official positions in colleges of education. 

Mark Lindsay QC appeared for the petitioner, while James Mure QC appeared for the respondents.