Judicial Protection
Choose ONE of the following questions
Title 1Gemma is a professional footballer, and a star player for Semilong Athletic F.C. In the course of a match, she becomes frustrated by constant abuse from supporters of the opposing team, and responds by making an obscene gesture towards them, taking her boots off, and throwing them into the crowd. She is sent off, and subsequently charged by the Football Federation (the governing body) with “damaging the reputation of the game”, which is categorised as a “serious” disciplinary offence under the rules of the Federation. The Federation has recently introduced a policy of cleaning up the image of the sport, following a series of unsavoury revelations and headlines.
In accordance with the rules of the Federation, a three-person disciplinary panel is convened to hear Gemma’s case. The panel is chaired by Sabrina, who is a practising barrister. She is also a keen supporter of Kingsthorpe Rovers F.C, who are Semilong Athletic’s long-standing rivals and their closest competitors in this season’s title race.
In the course of the hearing, and before Gemma has finished giving her evidence to the panel, she becomes angry, and says that she “wants nothing more to do with this farce”. Sabrina advises her to “calm down, and don’t make matters any worse. You’re already looking at a lengthy ban”. The panel subsequently finds Gemma guilty of the offence in question, and bans her from playing professional football for six months.
Gemma does not feel that her treatment by the tribunal has been impartial. Advise her.
Title 2Morse and Lewis are both students at the University of Semilong. They return to their hall of residence late one night, both clearly drunk after spending the evening in a local pub. Cheered on by Lewis, Morse sets off a fire extinguisher in the corridor, causing considerable damage. Lewis is generally rude and abusive to other students when they try to intervene. Frost, the hall warden, notifies the governors of the University, who have overall responsibility for dealing with serious student disciplinary matters, of these incidents.
The governors ask Frost for a full report into the incident. When compiling the report, Frost talks to some (but not all) of the students who were present, but does not consult either Morse or Lewis. His report recommends that the governors take “firm action” against both Morse and Lewis. The governors immediately decide to expel Morse from the University, subsequently explaining to him by letter that this is because they regard his actions as “extremely serious” and “inexcusable”.
The governors regard Lewis’s actions as less serious, and invite him to submit written comments to them before they reach a decision in his case. Lewis asks to appear before the governors in person, but this request is declined, the governors explaining that they “do not have the time to see every student personally”. Lewis then writes to the governors apologising for his conduct and explaining that he was “too drunk to think straight”. The governors consider this letter before deciding that he should also be expelled from the University.
Morse and Lewis both feel that their right to be heard has not been observed by the University. Advise them.


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