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Probative value of a civil judgment: Constantinides v The Law Society [2006] EWHC 725 (Admin)

It has been said that there can be ‘no reasonable objection to the Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal reading (the judgment of a Chancery Judge in a related matter), provided it was clear and rigorous in its approach to that judgment. The judgment was admissible to prove background facts in the context of which the appellant's misconduct had to be considered. But that was the limit of its function, in the particular circumstances of this case. The judge's views as to the appellant's dishonesty and lack of integrity were not admissible to prove the Law Society's case against this appellant in these disciplinary proceedings. We are far from ruling that a judge's conclusions as to dishonesty cannot amount to findings of fact within the meaning of Rule 30. There will be cases when a finding of fact, be it in a civil or criminal case, of dishonesty will be prima facie evidence of that dishonesty. But in the instant case the judge's conclusions were far more wide ranging than the allegations made against the appellant in the disciplinary proceedings.’


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