Discipline and Appeal Tribunals Information

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Complaints against Chartered Accountants are made in the first instance to the Institute's Investigations Department. If you wish to make a complaint about a Chartered Accountant, please visit our complaints page. Complaints are investigated by the Investigation Committee. The Committee is responsible for deciding if cases should be prosecuted before the Discipline Tribunal.

The Discipline Tribunal deals with complaints that have been referred by the Investigation Committee.  The Tribunal has the power to impose a number of sanctions, including financial penalties and expulsion from Membership

Formal Complaints to the Discipline Tribunal are governed in terms of ICAS Rule 13, a copy of these Rules can be found in our Rules and Regulations Section.

The Appeal Tribunal considers appeals against the decisions of any of the ICAS regulatory committees.

All hearings before the Discipline Tribunal or Appeal Tribunal are heard in public unless the Chartered Accountant or ICAS apply to the Tribunal for the case, or part of it, to be heard in private.

Notifications of future hearings will appear in the upcoming tribunals section below. Notifications are usually given 7 days prior to the hearing.

Upcoming Tribunals

MOHAMMAD ZUBAIR HUSSAIN CA

An Appeal Tribunal will sit on Friday 16th June 2017 at 10am within CA House, 21 Haymarket Yards ,Edinburgh EH12 5BH to hear an appeal against a decision of the Discipline Tribunal, in respect of Muhammad Zubair Hussain CA a member based in Edinburgh.

Tribunal Members

  • Mr R L Forbes MA CA
  • Mr R B M Graham CA
  • Mr G O Sutherland CA FIMgt FRSA
  • Mr I W G McDonald CA
  • Mr K Malik CA
  • Mr B W Minto LLB, Public Interest Member
  • Colonel J Robertson, Public Interest Member
  • Sheriff A G McCulloch
  • Mr M P Anderson LLB
  • Mr L MacLeod CA
  • Mrs C Probert CA
  • Miss A Donaldson, Public Interest Member
  • Mrs F Havenga, Public Interest Member
  • Dr J Rees, Public Interest Member
  • Mrs V Paterson, Public Interest Member 
  • Mr Eric Cumming, Clerk to the Tribunal

Discipline

A primary aim of ICAS is to safeguard the reputation of the profession by maintaining public confidence in the accountancy profession. ICAS addresses this aim by setting high standards of integrity and professional competence and by ensuring, through periodic quality reviews of members’ practices, that these standards are maintained.

Members of the Discipline Tribunal Panel
The Panel is made up of not less than four legally qualified chairmen, not less than 6 public interest members and not less than 6 chartered accountant members. One of the legally qualified chairmen acts as Chairman of the Panel.

Receipt of a Complaint
The Investigation Committee refers any formal complaint for prosecution before the Discipline Tribunal to the Chairman of the Panel. Upon receipt of a complaint the Chairman shall appoint a Discipline Tribunal from the Panel members to hear the complaint. The Discipline Tribunal comprises 3 members: a legally qualified chairman, a public interest member and a chartered accountant member. Each Tribunal is also supported by a Clerk.

Hearing a Formal Complaint
The hearing of a formal complaint is conducted in accordance with the Tribunal Regulations. The Regulations can be found in the Rules section. The standard of proof before the Tribunal is the civil standard.

The Chartered Accountant member, student or firm appearing before the Tribunal can be represented by a legally qualified person or another chartered accountant member. The IPCEC can also be represented by a legally qualified person. Either party can apply to the Tribunal for the hearing, or part of it, to be heard in private. If the Tribunal grants such a request then the press and public are excluded from the hearing of the complaint, or part of it.

The Tribunal will hear evidence from both parties on the complaints. This can include both written evidence and witness testimony. Members of the Tribunal can also ask questions of both parties and any witnesses called by the parties.

At the end of the hearing, the Discipline Tribunal will decide whether the formal complaint has been proved. Where it decides that the complaint has been proved, it can make a order a range of disciplinary sanctions. If the complaint is proved against a chartered accountant member, these range from admonition to loss of practising rights and expulsion, the imposition of a financial penalty and an award of costs. If the formal complaint has been found proved against a student member, the sanctions that can be imposed include an order that the individual be declared ineligible for admission to membership. If the complaint has been found proved against a chartered accountancy firm, the sanctions that be imposed include loss of authorisations, reprimand and the imposition of a financial penalty or the award of costs. There is no upper limit to the amount of any financial penalty or award of costs which a Discipline Tribunal can make.

The Discipline Tribunal may give its decision orally at the end of the hearing or might reserve its decision to a sentencing hearing. The Tribunal's decision will be confirmed to the chartered accountant member, student or firm in writing.

Publicity of Decisions
In all cases the Discipline Tribunal will publish its decision both on this website and CA Magazine. In addition the Tribunal may also direct that publicity be given in the national press or in the local press where the chartered accountant member, student or firm practice.

Appeal
Both parties can appeal a decision of the Discipline Tribunal to the Appeal Tribunal. Any appeal requires to be submitted within 21 days from the date of the written intimation of the Discipline Tribunal decision and must satisfy the grounds for appeal set out in the ICAS Rules.

Appeals

The Discipline Tribunal will issue a formal written intimation of their decision on a complaint to both parties. Where either party wishes to appeal the decision of the Discipline Tribunal they must submit an appeal to the Chairman of the Appeal Panel within 21 days of the date of the Discipline Tribunal's decision.

Members of the Appeal Tribunal Panel
The Panel is made up of not less than four legally qualified chairmen, not less than 6 public interest members and not less than 6 chartered accountant members. One of the legally qualified chairmen acts as Chairman of the Panel. The current Chairman of the Panel is Mr Murray Shaw.

Receipt of an Appeal
Upon receipt of an appeal the Chairman shall consider the terms of the appeal to ensure that the grounds of appeal fall within the provisions set out in the ICAS Rules. if he is satisfied that they do meet the specified requirement he will then appoint an Appeal Tribunal from the Panel members to hear the appeal. The Appeal Tribunal comprises 3 members: a legally qualified chairman, a public interest member and a chartered accountant member. Each Tribunal is also supported by a Clerk.

Hearing an Appeal
The hearing of an appeal is conducted in accordance with the Tribunal Regulations. The Regulations can be found in the Rules section. The standard of proof before the Tribunal is the civil standard.

The Chartered Accountant member, student or firm appearing before the Tribunal can be represented by a legally qualified person or another chartered accountant member. The Investigation Committee can also be represented by a legally qualified person. Either party can apply to the Tribunal for the hearing, or part of it, to be heard in private. If the Tribunal grants such a request then the press and public are excluded from the hearing of the complaint, or part of it.

The Clerk to the Tribunal will forward to the parties the grounds of appeal and will advise them of the date and time at which the Tribunal shall hear the appeal. The Tribunal will hear evidence from both parties on the grounds of appeal. This can include both written evidence and witness testimony. Members of the Tribunal can also ask questions of both parties and any witnesses called by the parties.

At the end of the hearing, the Appeal Tribunal will decide whether the appeal should be granted or whether the decision of the Discipline Tribunal should stand. The Appeal Tribunal may give its decision orally at the end of the hearing or might reserve its decision to a formal written intimation.

The Powers of an Appeal Tribunal
The Appeal Tribunal may affirm, vary or rescind any decision of a Discipline Tribunal. Additionally the Appeal Tribunal can substitute any sanction made by the Discipline Tribunal with another sanction or sanctions which the Discipline Tribunal could have made when it heard the formal complaint. The Appeal Tribunal can also order that the complaint be heard afresh by a differently constituted Discipline Tribunal.

An Appeal Tribunal decision takes effect from the date the decision is intimated unless the Tribunal directs that it shall take effect from some other date. The parties will be informed in writing of the Appeal Tribunal.

Publicity of Decisions
In all cases the Appeal Tribunal will publish its decision both on this website and CA Magazine. In addition the Tribunal may also direct that publicity be given in the national press or in the local press where the chartered accountant member, student or firm practice.

Press releases

Listed below are the Press Releases which have been issued by the Discipline and Appeal Tribunals following hearings against Members.

Discipline

Title Modified date Size
Michael James Meston Reid 19/02/2013 Download PDF [25 KB]
Leonard Harris 01/03/2016 Download PDF [62 KB]
Norman McLeod Gregor 21/02/2017 Download PDF [170 KB]
Robert Roy Swindon 27/06/2013 Download PDF [24 KB]
Richard Gordon Beattie 21/02/2017 Download PDF [171 KB]
Angus Nicolson 03/07/2015 Download PDF [7 KB]
Andrew John Pickles 01/07/2013 Download PDF [20 KB]
Graeme Banks 14/10/2013 Download PDF [164 KB]
John Doyle 21/02/2017 Download PDF [105 KB]
James Thompson 21/02/2017 Download PDF [168 KB]
William Ian Main 01/06/2017 Download PDF [105 KB]
Muhammad Zubair Hussain July 2017 Download PDF [177 KB]

Appeal

Title Modified date Size
Eamonn Joseph Rice 12/07/2012 Download PDF [62 KB]
Brian Carson 20/10/2014 Download PDF [128 KB]

Help Sheets

These information sheets have been prepared to provide guidance to individuals who may require to attend a hearing.

TitleModified date 
Information Sheet for Tribunal07/03/2011Download PDF [119 KB]
Information Sheet for Witnesses23/02/2011Download PDF [126 KB]
Information Sheet for Defendant23/02/2011Download PDF [152 KB]

FAQs

Q1. What is the Discipline Tribunal?
Answer:
The Discipline Tribunal ('Discipline Tribunal') deals with complaints which have been referred by the Investigation and Professional Conduct Enforcement Committee ('IPCEC'). It has the power to exclude members from membership.

Q2. What is the composition of the Tribunal
Answer:
The Discipline Tribunal is made up of a Clerk, Legally Qualified Chairman, Chartered Accountant and one other who is not a Chartered Accountant.

Q3. What happens before a Tribunal?
Answer:
We will write to you at least 6 weeks before the hearing enclosing a copy of the Institutes' Rules, copy of the complaint against you, a summary of evidence against you and any copies of relevant correspondence and papers.

All of the above will also be sent to Members of the Tribunal for that day.

Q4. Are the Tribunal Findings made public?
Answer:
Under Rule 71 of the Institute's rules:
A formal complaint shall be conducted in accordance with regulations made by the Discipline Panel not inconsistent with these Rules. The standard of proof shall be the civil standard.

Hearings before a Discipline Tribunal shall be held in public. The Discipline Tribunal may decide upon the application of either party to the hearing or at its own instance, that the hearing or any part of it shall be held in private if:

The Discipline Tribunal is satisfied that it is necessary to do so having regard to any unfairness to any party or prejudice to the interests of any other person that might result from a hearing in public and;

The Discipline Tribunal is satisfied that a hearing in private would not prejudice the interests of justice.

Q5. What happens at a hearing before the Tribunal?
Answer:
When the Tribunal hears the case, the process is similar to that of a Court of Law, but the atmosphere is much less formal.

The Tribunal usually hear all cases before it at CA House, 21 Haymarket Yards, EDINBURGH. If accommodation is not available at CA House it then becomes necessary to move to an outside venue.

You may attend the hearing and represent yourself or be represented by a solicitor.

The Chairman of the Tribunal will introduce the other members at the start of the hearing.

Parties do not give evidence under oath. Both sides can call and question witnesses but neither side is allowed to produce further documents or witnesses at the last minute. A transcript of the hearing is produced and a copy of this can be provided.

Topics

  • Complaints

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