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RE JR17’S APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW

A school principal in Northern Ireland had acted unlawfully in suspending a pupil pending investigations into allegations of misconduct against him, as the applicable scheme giving the principal power to suspend made no provision for precautionary suspension.

29 June 2010

The appellant pupil (X) appealed against the dismissal of his application for judicial review of a decision by his school principal (P) to suspend him. Complaints had been made to P about X's behaviour by a fellow pupil (Y). Separately, social services had considered X's case as a result of allegations regarding sexual and violent offences by him outside school. P was informed and held a risk assessment meeting where it was decided that social services should carry out an assessment of the alleged incident and any impact on Y and that X should be suspended for five days as a "precautionary measure". Y was very distressed and P stated that it was agreed that, to protect her identity and further deterioration in her mental health, X would not be informed about her complaint. X was then informed of the decision. His suspension lasted 20 school days. Pursuant to the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 the relevant board had prepared a scheme to provide procedures for t...

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