The case of Stuart Hall has been extensively covered, both in the news and here on the blog. As is well known, he is now serving a 30 month prison sentence. Could things get worse for him? Well, as the BBC reported on 22nd October 2013, he is now to be stripped of his OBE.
The test that they will apply is whether “retention of the appointment or award would bring the honours system into disrepute. There are no set guidelines for cancellations, which are considered on a case-by-case basis.” The deliberations are confidential, but we can guess what they said. Clearly, convictions for multiple child abuse would bring the system into disrepute.
There is no appeal for Mr Hall. It is an interesting question as to whether he would be able to Judicially Review the decision. We would guess not, but it’s unlikely to arise in practice.
People with convictions for fraud and perjury can sit in the House of Lords. Does this not bring the system into disrepute? Well yes. But peerages are in a different category and aren’t covered by the Honours Forfeiture Committee. We’re sure that they’ll get round to kicking criminals out of the House of Lords at some point. It’s early days. After all, it’s only been around for 700 years…