Liberal Democrats

F8-Complaints-Procedure

Federal Board

Mover: Dr Mark Pack (President of the Liberal Democrats).

Summation: Alice Thomas.

Conference notes that Conference has passed two different processes for amending the party’s complaints process. When Conference last approved the complaints process, it permitted the Federal Board to make changes to it, provided they are afterwards reported to Conference. However, when Conference last approved the constitutional clauses governing the complaints process, it agreed wording that requires all changes to come to Conference first.

Conference believes that:

  1. Requiring all changes to the complaints process, however small, to come to Conference first is impractical and, in an extreme case, could leave the party with a complaints process with a substantial deficiency (or deficiencies) for some time. Such a deficiency may prevent the party from suitably protecting members and its reputation, or complying with a decision of a court or other external body. This issue has been highlighted by the cancellation of Spring conference 2020, which has caused much needed changes to the procedure to be substantially delayed.
  2. Accordingly, there should be a mechanism by which the Complaints process Procedure can be amended with immediate effect, provided that any amendments are reported to Conference and that conference has the opportunity to express a view on them and hold to account those who have supported the changes.

Conference therefore resolves to amend the Constitution so that it is in line with the Complaints Procedure by deleting Article 23.3 and inserting the following:

23.3 The Federal Board shall have power, after appropriate consultations, to make and from time to time vary procedures for the handling of complaints (the “Complaints Procedures”). These Complaints Procedures shall include an appeals process. The Federal Board shall report any variations made to the Complaints Procedures in its written report to conference under Article 8.7. Such variations shall be effective from the date of approval by the Federal Board.

The current Federal Party constitution is available at: www.libdems.org.uk/constitution

The existing text of Article 23.3 of the constitution is as follows:

23.3 The Federal Board shall have power, after appropriate consultations, to make and from time to time vary procedures for the handling of complaints (the “Complaints Procedures”). These Complaints Procedures shall include an appeals process. The Federal Board shall report any variations made to the Complaints Procedures in its written report to conference under Article 8.7. Such variations shall be effective from the date on which such report is made.

Applicability: Federal.

Mover: 5 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes. For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see page 6.

The deadline for amendments to this motion – see page 8 – and for requests for separate votes – see page 5 – is 13.00 on 8 March. Those selected for debate will be published in the Conference Extra and Friday Conference Daily updates to the Conference Agenda.

Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority to pass.

Chair: Geoff Payne (Chair, FCC). Aides: Bex Scott and Kevin Lang.

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