Ignorant of ‘the most Basic Rules of Fair Procedure’

05.09.2019


Tusla, the government’s child protection agency, seems to have learnt little about managing accusations against adults. The recent case of a teacher, condemned of “smacking” a female student in full view of her peers, shows how dangerous it is to give quasi-judicial powers to unqualified civil servants. The teacher was judged guilty of “child sex abuse” by Tusla in late 2015. He appealed the decision to a Tusla tribunal and then to the High Court where he was cleared of any crime. The appeal judge, Justice Charles Meenan, described Tusla’s decision-making process “fundamentally and deeply flawed”, and stated that the body failed to follow “even the most basic rules of fair procedure”. He also noted, “The seriousness and consequences of such a finding against a teacher cannot be understated.” How true! His career would be over and his reputation sullied for the rest of his life.

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