Kieren Fallon v Horseracing Regulatory Authority [2006] EWHC 2030

 F, a jockey, was charged with conspiracy to defraud in respect of allegations that he had indulged in practices which would affect the results of races.  F denied the charges. The matter was in the meantime referred to the Horseracing Regulatory Authority, which prohibited F from riding in races in the UK until the criminal proceedings had concluded. F argued, amongst other things, that the panel hearing the matter at interim orders stage should have allowed more detailed consideration of the merits of the case being advanced by the prosecution in the criminal proceedings, and that the interim sanction imposed was unjustified and disproportionate.
 
The court held that the interim disciplinary body had been right in their conclusion that it was not for them to consider the strength or weakness of the Crown's case in the criminal proceedings. Secondly, there was no doubt that the board's sanction would be of significant and irremediable detriment to F. However, the decision was lawful and within the proper exercise of discretion by an expert body, which was entitled to weigh the matter as it had.

Comment

The question of interim orders can be contentious, and raises difficult issues as to the appropriate balance to be struck between considerations of fairness to the individual concerned, and the protection of the public. We intend to give further consideration to this issue in the next edition of the e-bulletin. 

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