OCIMF denied leave to appeal decision by the Court of Appeal

Update re ship inspector winning landmark UK High Court ruling against Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF)

In an unprecedented case for the oil and marine industry, the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), regarded as the voice of safety in the oil sector, which had been lambasted by the High Court in London for unlawfully removing the accreditation of one of its long standing and most experienced accredited ship inspectors, Captain Arshad Rashid, has now been denied leave to appeal the decision by the Court of Appeal.

This case marked the first time a ship inspector had ever challenged an accreditation body, and the decision has sent shock waves through OCIMF and its membership of 109 oil companies around the world including all the international oil majors and the majority of national oil companies.

After the initial ruling on 16 August 2019, OCIMF sought permission to appeal from the trial judge, Mr Justice Martin Spencer, which was denied. Following this, on 20 September 2019, OCIMF filed with the Court of Appeal a further application seeking leave to appeal. After reviewing OCIMF’s submissions and Captain Rashid’s response, the ruling of Lord Justice Males on 25 October 2019 refusing the application, confirmed that OCIMF’s appeal had no real prospect of success and forcefully re-affirmed the trial judge’s severe criticisms of OCIMF.

Lord Justice Males stated:

“The judge was clearly right to hold that the disciplinary proceedings were unfair so as to amount to a failure of natural justice. The claimant was not given proper notice of the charges against him; the findings of the panel ranged much wider than the limited and specific points with which the hearing was eventually concerned; and the direction to the panel to disregard the wide ranging and prejudicial allegations contained in the Inquiry Report was clearly inadequate for the reasons which the judge gave. Accordingly the decision was unfair and must be treated as a nullity.”

Josh Wong, Captain Rashid’s solicitor and Partner at Signature Litigation commented: “This ruling is the end of the road for OCIMF and it is now forced to accept that it acted unlawfully and must review its processes which have been so heavily criticised now by two courts.”

Source / More : M A L T I N P R

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