The Independent Complaints Board and the complaints process

The new process for handling complaints against members of the Labour Party will include the establishment of an Independent Review Board (IRB) and an Independent Complaints Board (ICB).

Today we are recruiting for roles in the Independent Complaints Board.

By introducing the two new Boards, our aim is to integrate key principles of independence and transparency that will enhance our existing system.

Complaints will be investigated and initially heard by the Labour Party and following that, the decision will be reviewed by an independent lawyer who sits on the IRB. If the respondent wishes to appeal (and meets the criteria) that appeal will also be heard independently from the Party. The majority of Labour Party complaint cases are heard on paper however if there is an in-person case, from now on, this will also be heard independently.

The Independent Review Board

The role of the IRB will be to either veto or verify all disciplinary decisions (which involve protected characteristics) made by the Labour Party’s Disputes Panel. The IRB will be made up of a pool of lawyers (either solicitors or barristers) with experience in regulatory or disciplinary processes and ideally, an interest in equalities.

We are expecting the IRB lawyers to review approximately 40-45 cases a month and are therefore looking for a pool of 6 lawyers.

No appointees to the IRB may be an active member of any political party (or have been) for at least 5 years prior to appointment.  By introducing the IRB, we are ensuring that independence is built into the complaints process from the start.

 The Independent Complaints Board

The ICB is the second element of independence in the process. Their role will be to either hear appeals against complaint decisions or to hear complaints in person.

The ICB will consist of twelve members: four independent complaint lawyers, four HR/ regulatory or similar experts and four Labour Party lay members. They will sit as a Panel of three (one from each category) to hear cases. The lawyer member will act as the chair of the Panel. 

Please note, apart from the Labour Party lay members, these roles are only open to those who have not held membership of a UK political party either now or within the last five years. The Labour Party lay members will need to have been a party member for at least five years with an unblemished membership record.

All appointments to the IRB and the ICB are expected to be for a fixed term of 3 years