Board of Deputies President calls for ‘far-reaching’ Code of Conduct review

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Following receipt of a report on recent disciplinary cases from Constitution Committee Chair Tony Leifer, Board of Deputies President, Marie van der Zyl, said:

“From reading the report it is clear to me that we need to revise the Code of Conduct in light of the experience of using it. It was created in 2013 and it is right that after five years we should have a far-reaching review to make sure that it keeps pace with our organisation. While such changes must obviously be considered carefully, I have asked that this process is conducted as expeditiously as possible.”

The Board of Deputies President has asked the Constitution Committee to review the following points and make recommendations for Code of Conduct changes to be submitted to Deputies.

Proposed items for review should include:

  1. Increasing transparency around our disciplinary process, whilst continuing to ensure a fair hearing;
  2. Publishing an advisory timetable to give more clarity about the disciplinary process;
  3. Introducing a new disciplinary sanction of ‘expulsion’ in the most serious cases, which might include racism or criminal acts;
  4. Introducing a new provision for ‘suspension pending investigation’ in cases where expulsion would be a likely outcome if the case were proven;
  5. No case should take longer than four months, from receiving a complaint to resolution, including the hearing of any relevant appeals.
  6. Procedures should take non-cooperation with Code of Conduct investigations into account, with respect to the outcome;
  7. Granting constituent synagogues and organisations the power to suspend or remove a Deputy; and
  8. The Constitution Committee publishing an annual report of its work under the Code of Conduct, on an anonymised basis.

Ms van der Zyl has asked the Constitution Committee to submit detailed proposed changes for consultation in advance of the full Board of Deputies Meeting in October. Deputies will then have an opportunity to input before the changes come back to the following Board of Deputies Meeting in November 2018 for a vote. Any cases in the meantime will be considered under the existing Code of Conduct.

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