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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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A colleague has raised a complaint of bullying and harassment

Customer Question

A colleague has raised a complaint of bullying and harassment against me. I strenuously deny the allegation. It transpires that the complainant has used the wrong part of the departmental rules in his written submission of the complaint. In this case they have quoted rules which apply to the respondent in any complaint, rather than the complainant. As the complainant has quoted the rules incorrectly, do I have any redress? For example, can I reasonably suggest that the rules not being followed has resulted in my being given unnecessary worry and concern. Should the complaint be thrown out? What is the best way to proceed in this situation?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
My name isXXXXX and I'm happy to help with your question today.

Its unlikely that quoting the wrong part of the rules will be enough to stop this complaint proceeding further - courts and tribunals are generally reluctant to stop cases because technicalities unless you can demonstrate that you have suffered some prejudice in presenting your case. If the gist of the complaint is unaffected by the misquotation of the rules, then the complaint will generally proceed and you will be given a change to answer the allegations. Also you have to remember that even if the wrong rules have been quoted, the complainant could withdraw that complaint and submit a fresh complaint quoting the correct rules.

Hope this makes the position clearer.

Alex
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX case the complainant said I had acted maliciously and/or vicariously/ vexatious and quoted that section of the rule book which centres on such behaviour. I then submitted a written response based on that allegation. I do feel wronged by this, so am surprised I have no redress.

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.

Your redress is, of course, to deny the false allegation bring made against you with any evidence that you have in support. But at this stage you are not arguing a point of law as you might do in a court or tribunal. In other words you are not seeking a legal ruling but dealing with the gist of the complaint being made against you.

 

Also, misquoting a rule or procedure by a lay person is an issue that the courts have to deal with every day and allowances are made. The situation might be different if, for example, a lawyer was applying the wrong law or procedure.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok, many thanks for your prompt and detailed advice, much appreciated.

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
No problem. Happy to discuss further if needed.

Alex