Audi Alteram Partem

Audi Alteram Partem

Audi Alteram Partem‘, the Latin expression well ingrained in the common law legal system translated in English means ‘no one should be condemned unheard [‘hear the other side’]. It is one of the three basic principles of natural justice, it has come a long way since it first found favour before the English Courts since the inception of the common law system.

Very often employers forget, during routine disciplinary matters that this is an employee right ingrained in common law, either through ignorance or believing that the case is so straight forward that this right need not apply.

Recently, BDM Directions was involved with an appeal hearing and two disciplinary enquiries, as chairperson, where reference had to be made to the ‘audi alteram partem’ rule. Failure, to have done so may have had disastrous consequences for the organisations, particularly when considering both disciplinary offences were serious, related to desertion and an a blatant act of fraud.

Employers need to take heed that regardless of the nature of the misconduct or work performance, i.e., for a minor or major offence that the employee has the right to be heard before action is taken against the employee. This is important particularly when considering that the employee has the right to face his/her accusers, their witnesses and to cross-examine their evidence.

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Posted in: Latest Work on September 27, 2011 by BDM Directions.