Case details

Causwell (Respondent) v The General Legal Council (Ex Parte Elizabeth Hartley) (Appellant) (Jamaica)

Case ID: JCPC 2017/0037

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of Jamaica

Case summary


Whether disciplinary proceedings under the Legal Profession Act 1971, which were initiated without the authority of the aggrieved person, can be ratified by the aggrieved person after having been filed.


The Respondent is an attorney-at-law. Disciplinary proceedings were commenced against her as a result of allegations of professional misconduct set out in an affidavit of Mrs Elizabeth Hartley, which Mrs Hartley filed with the General Legal Council. The affidavit stated that Mrs Hartley acted as agent for the Respondent’s client, Mr deCordova.

At a hearing before the Disciplinary Committee, counsel for the Respondent argued that the proceedings should not continue because there was no evidence that Mr deCordova had authorised Mrs Hartley to make the complaint. The Disciplinary Committee found that, although there was no admissible evidence that Mr deCordova had initially authorised Mrs Hartley’s complaint, Mr deCordova had authorised the complaint after the affidavit had been filed. The Disciplinary Committee consequently concluded that the disciplinary proceedings could continue.

The Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeal of Jamaica which allowed her appeal and set aside the ruling of the Disciplinary Committee.



The General Legal Council (Ex Parte Elizabeth Hartley)


Janice Causwell



Lord Kerr, Lord Carnwath, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Briggs

Hearing start date

09 Oct 2018

Hearing finish date

09 Oct 2018