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Guidance on Jurisdiction

1. Introduction:

This is internal guidance which we have published for transparency. It may have links or references to other internal guidance or policies which are not published.

Last updated: May 2022

Jurisdiction - the right or power to administer justice and to apply laws (from the Latin ius iuris "law" and dicere "to speak")

LGSCO undertakes independent and impartial investigations which provide an effective means of resolving complaints. Our approach is proportionate in each case and pragmatic wherever possible but we must also take care that we operate in line with the legislative framework which gives us our powers.

This guidance has been produced with the input of investigators and other staff across LGSCO, in order to provide a clear and consistent interpretation of the Local Government Act 1974 and other legislation which affects our work on a day-to-day basis. It is not comprehensive and we expect it to be updated on a regular basis, not only to take account of changes in the law but also to take account of feedback and suggestions from LGSCO staff (a table detailing the changes can be found on the intranet).

This builds on earlier versions of our Guidance on Jurisdiction but, where relevant, this version also tries to be clear about the emphasis LGSCO would generally apply where the law could be interpreted in different ways, or where we are given an element of discretion. Investigators will always need to look at each individual case on its merits and have a wide degree of flexibility in deciding the best approach to take. This Guidance is intended to assist that process, and we encourage everyone who uses it to contribute to its further development by telling us whether it is useful and how it can be improved.