MEMBERS GUILTY of misconduct face 'punitive' charges for the first time after revisions to disciplinary procedure were approved by Council.
Imposing of fines, costs and compulsory self funded training for guilty members to 'rectify the fault that got them into trouble in the first place', would be measures at the disposal of the disciplinary board, which has dealt with four cases in the last year.
An ICE paper developed in consultation with the Law Society states: 'When the decision of the disciplinary board is for an admonition or reprimand, imposing a fine as well will introduce a punitive element currently lacking and will show the guilty member, the complainant and all other interested parties the seriousness with which the offence is seen by the Institution.'
Suspended members - of which there have been two in the last nine years - will have to satisfy conditions laid down by Board before being readmitted. 'At the moment someone can apply to get back in without going for any form of review or checking,' said DG&S Roger Dobson who presented the paper.
New powers will also extend to the defendants and complainants in misconduct cases. Some form of appeal for defendants against disciplinary board decisions is to be considered for the first time. In cases which are thrown out, complainants will have the right to produce fresh evidence within 28 days which would be considered by a different member of the panel.
As part of the overhaul, all ICE disciplinary bylaws will be checked to ensure they comply with the European Convention of Human Rights, due to be incorporated into UK law in 1999.
An amendment to Bylaw 36 would be required to impose fines on guilty members.