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- Judicial interpretation relating to Part III : some useful guidance on the meaning of "standards", "serious" and "unacceptable".

- Discipline and questionable PCC decisions : powers, duties and criticisms of the PCC.

- Case Study 1 : procedural irregularities and two perverse decisions in consideration of charges brought under Code Standard 8.

- Case Study 2 (Part 1)  : a similar case, involving the apprehension of a real possibility of bias.

- Case Study 2 (continued - Part 2) : the PCC decide – and a question of incongruity arises. 

- Note on Part III of the Architects Act 1997 - should the legislation be further amended to save the Board from the charge of jactitation of power?

- Case Study 2 (continued - Part 3) - QC advises that the architect has an obvious and complete defence.

- Case Study 2 (continued - Part 4) - "Judicial nonsense".

- Case Study 2 (continued - Part 5) - A Court decision in favour of the architect.

- Case Study 2 (continued - Parts 6, 7 and 8) - (6) The Court rules architect's application for judicial review "plainly justified" - 14 October 2008; (7) the case is remitted by Consent Order of the High Court - 21 August 2009; and (8) the proceedings are withdrawn - 7 April 2010.

- Case Study 2 (continued - Parts 9 and 10) - Report on outcome of proceedings.

- Case Study 2 (continued - Part 11) - How the Board deals with the result.

 Case Study 2 (continued - Part 12) - ARB misclaims "new evidence".

 Case Study 2 (continued - Part 13) - New Guidance - December 2010.

(9) The ARB's case against I— S— has collapsed.

The attached report (of 14 April 2010) has been received from one of the AARUK contributors, an independent observer who had been present as a member of the public at the PCC and High Court hearings (Robert Johnstone, who retired from the post of RIBA Legal Adviser in 1995).

(10) An end to tick-box monitoring?

Further to this contributor's Note of 14 April 2010 reporting on the outcome of the proceedings, readers of AARUK are aware (1) that there are Chartered Architects who are perturbed that the Registrar has continued to issue PII tick box demands after 7 April 2010 and in apparent disregard of the revised Code now in operation; and (2) that the ARB Reform Group is being asked to obtain an explanation at the Board meeting on 20 May and an acceptable outcome.

On the application presented by the ARB's solicitor at the hearing held by the PCC on 7 April 2010 a direction was formally made enabling the ARB to withdraw unreservedly certain UPC allegations against the architect (I— S—). It must be at least as well known to the Registrar as it is to this contributor that the architect's solicitor had made the clear and uncontradicted statement that the point at issue had been "not a question of reasonableness but one of legality”.

This contributor has now seen a copy of the ARB form about which architects have made objection. At the top is printed boldly and prominently: "NOTE: ALL ARCHITECTS MUST COMPLETE AND RETURN THIS STATEMENT".

At the bottom this is amplified, also boldly and prominently: "PLEASE NOTE ALL ARCHITECTS, IRRESPECTIVE OF EMPLOYMENT STATUS MUST COMPLETE THIS STATEMENT".

The form is in two parts. The first is headed, again, boldly and prominently: "A PERSONS EXPECTED TO CARRY PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE". The second is headed, equally boldly and prominently: "B PERSONS NOT EXPECTED TO CARRY PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE".

Can it be otherwise than that two of the quoted statements or assertions are known to be false by the Registrar and by members of the Board and by the Board's advising solicitors, viz: "ALL ARCHITECTS MUST COMPLETE AND RETURN THIS STATEMENT" and "ALL ARCHITECTS, IRRESPECTIVE OF EMPLOYMENT STATUS MUST COMPLETE THIS STATEMENT"?

The falsehood is that the Act does not extend to all architects (in this country, understood): it expressly applies only to those who use the title "architect" in the way of practise in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. That must be known to those who, by election, appointment, employment or otherwise, have undertaken responsibility for executing the Act, and it is hardly credible that by now there can be any doubt about this on the part of any member of the Board or the Registrar.

Further, there appears to be nothing in the Act authorising the Board or Registrar to make such assertions in respect of any person registered in what is now Part 1 whether or not the person is practising within the meaning of the Act.

Can wilful repetition of such untruth be compatible with the actual functions and responsibilities of the Board and the Registrar? It seems wide of the ostensible moral tone of the Code which the Board has issued for the professional standards of registered persons.

Is there a code of honesty and integrity which applies to a body such as the ARB? In particular, how can an appointed Board member concur in letting this continue, having regard to his responsibility for the drafting of the present Code and his undoubted knowledge, skill and experience in his former employment as Clerk of the Privy Council, among other things in matters connected with legislation, legality, lawfulness, expediency and maladministration?

Chartered Architects and others will certainly be aware that this is no mere quibble and needs to be immediately rectified if the ARB is to make some recovery from the damage its reputation has suffered.

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Architects Act
Architects Registration Board
Registration
- education
- competence to practise
Professional standards - the code, etc
PII
discipline
Use of title
Links to websites:
chartered bodies
legislation
- historical notes