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No injunction to restrain disciplinary process while teacher refused to comply with court orders

By: Mark Tottenham BL

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High Court, in a claim arising from the failure of a teacher to stay away from a school while on administrative leave pending a disciplinary process, refuses to grant the teachers' application for an injunction restraining the disciplinary process, on the grounds that the teacher's ongoing refusal to comply with a court order restraining him from attending at the school premises was inimical to the proper administration of justice (notwithstanding that the school had purported to rely on a flawed report containing allegations that had not been put to the teacher).

Employment law - counterclaim by teacher against board of management of school - claim for injunctive relief - injunction restraining disciplinary meeting - injunction restraining conduct of disciplinary process - injunction restraining dismissal of teacher - teacher employed from 2018 - permanent contract from 2020 - 2022 notification by principal that student would be making a "social transition in their gender identity" - child to be known by new name - use of pronoun 'they' - objection by teacher to notification - meeting between teacher and principal - ethos of school - public statement by teacher at service in school chapel - allegation of serious misconduct against teacher - teacher placed on administrative leave - teacher continuing to attend school premises despite administrative leave - issue of plenary summons by school board - order granted - attachment and committal - refusal by teacher to purge contempt - whether a 'contemnor' may be heard in relation to other matters - refusal to give undertaking as to damages - whether balance of convenience favoured the grant of the injunctions sought - constitutional rights of defendant - whether serious misconduct - whether defendant's unblemished employment record had been considered - failure to give defendant an opportunity respond to findings and conclusions made in report - discussion of report at Board meeting - natural justice - fair procedures - department circular containing procedures for suspension and dismissal of teachers - balance of convenience - ongoing breach of court orders - lack of undertaking as to damages.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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