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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 February, 2004, 17:52 GMT
Expelled pupil waits for ruling
A teenager denied a payout after he was "unlawfully" expelled will have to wait to see if his appeal has succeeded.

In a test case at the High Court last June, Abdul Hakim Ali, of Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, unsuccessfully sued for 10,000 for lost education.

Mr Justice Stanley Burnton ruled though the exclusion was unlawful, he was not entitled to any compensation under the Human Rights Act.

On Friday three Appeal Court judges reserved judgement in Abdul's case.

Abdul, whose case is backed by the University of Essex-based Children's Legal Centre, claimed he was unlawfully removed from the school roll.

Waste bin fire

He sued head teacher Despina Pavlou and governors of Bletchley's Lord Grey School for 10,000 in damages.

On Thursday, Cherie Booth QC, for Abdul, cited several "errors of fact and law" in the judge's June ruling.

Abdul had been accused of lighting a fire in a waste bin at the school on 8 March 2001.

Police were called in and he and two other students were cautioned, searched and taken to the police station.

Despite his good disciplinary record and with nothing proven against him, Abdul was suspended as soon as the allegations were made, and later permanently excluded by the headmistress.

The schoolboy, then 15, went without education for 10 months.

Right to education

Abdul claimed he was never given a chance by the 1,200-pupil school to disprove the allegations - violating his Human Rights.

But, in his June 2003 ruling, Mr Justice Burnton said that, although the decision to exclude Abdul was unlawful, that did not make the school liable to compensate him under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

However, urging the Appeal Court to reverse that ruling, Miss Booth said the judge had "erred in law" in several of his key findings, including an ECHR clause which enshrined the individual's right to education.

The President of the Family Division, Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Lord Justice Clarke and Lord Justice Sedley, gave no indication when they would rule on Abdul's appeal.




SEE ALSO:
Expelled pupil loses claim against school
27 Jun 03  |  Beds/Bucks/Herts


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