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Can Councillor be witness in claim against council

0 votes
If a number of parish councillors are asked to be a witness in a legal claim against their council, how should those councillors balance code of conduct expectations of integrity and accountability etc on the one hand, versus expectations of not bringing a council into disrepute on the other (bearing in mind unwillingness to be a witness could be met with an Order to do so)? And how free are they to speak freely and factually as a councillor when providing evidence at a Court, on matters the Council would prefer remain confidential  ?
by (260 points)

3 Answers

0 votes

Is this a wind up?

You need to ask if a witness should give honest testimony?

Am I missing something here?

by (3.0k points)
I agree Coxn as I don’t think Parish Councillors are covered by the 5th Amendment but my natural curiosity makes me wonder exactly what this case is about
0 votes
The council is a corporate body made up of its members and officers, so a case against the council is, in law, a case against the body, its members and officers (although no actual liability passes down that chain in normal circumstances).
by (41.2k points)
It would of course all depend on the nature of the complaint. If it was in connection with criminal activity or a complaint through a court case then I would feel that they would have no choice but to give evidence regardless of their codes of conduct. However I would submit that in most other circumstances a councillor can agree to take part in any complaint procedures or not.
Original post says “legal claim against the council.”

That very much ‘sounds’ like a court case but who knows - maybe there is confusion about exactly what the ‘claim’ is. Could do with being clarified.
0 votes
The code of conduct is about honesty and integrity and a court of law a witness takes an oath to tell the truth.

Very confusing as a council is one body that comes together to make decisions. If the council were being taken to court as a councillor would you not be part of the body that was being accused?
by (6.1k points)

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