Test case on pre-attestation conduct

The Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland heard argument in the case of Gareth Watson’s Judicial Review addressing the question of whether police officers may be made subject to professional misconduct proceedings in respect of conduct committed before they became a police officer.

This is the first test case as to pre-attestation conduct ever heard in the higher courts of the UK, its importance reflected by the constitution of the court which heard the case of the Lady Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, Dame Siobhan Keegan; Treacy LJ; and Scoffield J.

Hugh Davies OBE KC and Kevin Baumber appeared on behalf of the Police Federation of England and Wales, the British Transport Police Federation, the Ministry of Defence Police Federation, and the Civil Nuclear Police Federation as intervenors in the case.

Judgment is expected to be handed down later this year.

19th July 2023