Working Group on Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:51 pm on 8th February 2018.

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Photo of Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords) 2:51 pm, 8th February 2018

My Lords, I apologise for not having read every detail of the report but, going back to the answer that the noble Baroness gave to my noble friend Lady Symons, I am slightly puzzled by the role of the independent experts she mentioned. I can see that there is value in people who are thinking about making a complaint or have already gone some way towards doing so being helped to understand what the process would be for doing that, but is there, anywhere in the continuum envisaged, a role for mediation that would include both, as it were, complainer and complained against? I ask because I think it is a matter of fact in law that harassment is in the mind of the beholder. That is to say that it is not for the person doing the harassing to determine whether they have harassed somebody; it is in the first instance for the person who feels themselves injured to determine that that is the case. Sometimes, in order to resolve it, it is necessary for both parties to see their own behaviour differently. Can the Minister tell us how that is likely to work in practice?