The petitioner had been a taxi driver for some 30 years, and was a member of Hamilton T.O.A. Radio Cars, an association for taxi drivers operating within the Hamilton area. On 15 October 2007, the Disciplinary Committee of the association upheld a complaint brought against the petitioner by an account customer; the petitioner sought to bring that decision under review, arguing that the penalty imposed on him was incompetent in terms of the association’s written constitution.

The petitioner argued that the decision of the Disciplinary Committee was ultra vires, insofar as it exceeded the disciplinary powers set out in the constitution. The petitioner noted that the relevant provision contained the power to impose either a fine or suspension in the event of a complaint being upheld by the committee. In the circumstances, the petitioner had suffered the imposition of an indefinite suspension. Further, the petitioner was not provided with any right of appeal against the decision of the committee.

The court concurred with this latter submission, noting that in the absence of any right of appeal, petition for judicial review to seek reduction of the decision was the only other remedy available. The court further found that the committee had exceeded the powers inherent in its jurisdiction, in imposing an indefinite penalty, which was not warranted by the terms of the constitution. In conclusion, the court found the decision to be ultra vires, and granted decree for reduction. The court noted that the practical consequence of this decision was that the committee would have to reconsider the matter of any disciplinary proceedings brought against the petitioner.

Court: Court Of Session (Outer House) (Scotland)
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