In July 2015 the second edition of the Professional Conduct Case Book (Second Edition) was published by Oxford University Press.
One of our regular Disciplinary Conference speakers, Philip Yelland of the Law Society of Scotland, has reviewed the book which will be of great interest to all those involved in regulatory and disciplinary work. Participants of the 2016 Conference can receive a special 20% discount - see below.
Professional Conduct Case Book (Second Edition) by Kenneth Hamer
The world of regulation and professional discipline is constantly evolving these days. For those involved in the administration of regulation the need to keep up to date with developments across various professions is vitally important.
The Second Edition of the Professional Conduct Case Book by Kenneth Hamer is designed to help in that regard and in my view certainly does the job.
The first edition
The First Edition of the Case Book was published in 2013 and as is mentioned in the preface, since that time there have been changes, in particular to the regulation of health care professionals and social care professionals in England. Of course, at the same time, the courts and tribunals have been making other key regulatory decisions.
The reality of course is that decisions which are made across the regulatory landscape can have applications in all different professions, and that is well captured in the structure of the book.
Kenneth Hamer has kept the same format at the first edition of the book, which means that it is easy for someone looking for up to date case information to find that information in the form of case reports, in addition to references to relevant rules and statutes. It is worth highlighting that one of the advantages of the book is the way it highlights the need to ensure the right process is followed in reaching a decision.
There are no fewer than 71 chapters in the book, but these split down sensibly and highlight some of the key issues, such as adjournments, bias, delay, natural justice and whistle-blowing – the latter of course is a more recent development in the regulatory landscape which is important across a number of professions.
The case summaries which are provided in the book are concise and helpful. Because of the way which they are laid out and the short rubric with each, it is easy for the reader to find what they might be looking for and, in some instances, to compare and contrast the approach that may be taken by different profession and the evolution of the approach to the issue over time.
There is also a useful section at the end of each chapter which cross references other chapters which link together. One of the most interesting chapters and one where there is continual change at the present time is that relating to disclosure, confidentiality, data protection and freedom of information. This area is one which has developed significantly in recent years and is one where, I am sure, in future editions of the book much more is likely to be written as the courts consider more cases.
Some of the phrases which are used in the book do specifically refer to the position in England and Wales, although for those in other jurisdictions it will be easy to work out the equivalent meaning.
If I have one specific criticism of the book (and it is a very minor one), I believe that the index of regulatory bodies contained in the Appendix ought to be updated. There is no reference to the bodies in Scotland which carry out various regulatory functions, some of which are referred to the in cases. For the sake of completeness I believe that that would be a helpful addition to any future version of the book.
Sometimes, these days, books do not necessary do what they say on the cover. This book most certainly does and I would say it is an essential for those working in the sphere of regulation and discipline.