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07 Sep 2020

Stuart Jessop acts for Claimants in judicial review of Food Standards Agency decision

Stuart Jessop has acted for the Claimants in a judicial review of the Food Standards Agency’s decision to suspend three slaughter-men’s certificate of competence pending the outcome of criminal proceedings or the decision not to instigate such proceedings against the men.

The Claimants argued that Regulation 19 of the Welfare at the Time of Killing Regulations 2015 did not provide a power to the FSA, as the competent authority, to suspend the certificates ( essential for the men to carry out their jobs) on an interim or holding basis pending a decision either not to prosecute or the outcome of criminal proceedings. The FSA had argued that it did or that it was not in fact an interim decision and that in any case the Claimants had an alternative remedy in the First Tier Tribunal.

Permission was refused on paper but granted at an oral hearing and shortly before the case was due to be heard in the High Court the FSA conceded the decisions were unlawful for the reasons advanced by the claimant. The guidance produced by the regulator had earlier been amended to avoid FSA decision makers from making suspensions on such grounds in the future.