Times Law Reports, March 12, 1984, p. 9

Issue 61779, col. A


New procedure applies to existing offences


Society of Lloyd’s v. Brooks and Another



The Society of Lloyd’s had power top invoke the new disciplinary procedures, which had been set up pursuant to the Lloyd’s Act 1982, against its members in respect of misconduct alleged to have been committed before the Act came into force.


Mr Justice Neill so held in the Commercial Court of the Queen’s Bench Division on March 6, granting declarations which the Society of Lloyd’s had sought against two of its members, Mr Thomas Raymond Brooks and Mr Terrence John Dooley, in respect of its disciplinary powers.


HIS LORDSHIP said that sections 6(2) and 7 of the 1982 Act did empower the Council of Lloyd’s to make by-laws which treated conduct prior to the Act’s coming into force as a ground for disciplinary proceedings.


The by-laws complained of did not purport to create new offences retrospectively, but created new machinery for dealing with existing offences, and the general presumption against retrospection in statues did not apply to legislation concerned with matters of procedure.


Under the old machinery members accused of misconduct were tried by their peers and the possible penalties were more restricted than under the new system.


However, Parliament’s plain intention had been to introduce the new system because of the weaknesses of the old. It was a misuse of language to say that the defendants has [sic] accrued rights to be tried by their peers in respect of the alleged offices or to suffer only certain penalties.


However, in view of the words of Lord Chief Justice in R v Griffiths ([1981] 2 QB 145), his Lordship doubted whether the Council could have made by-laws which created new offences in respect of past conduct.