Professions typically develop disciplinary systems that allow them to caution, fine or expel members whose conduct falls below expected standards. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) has amended its disciplinary procedures following challenge under the UK's HumanRights Act 1998. This paper aims to explore the implications of the incorporation of a (human) rights’ framework on ICAS's professionaldiscipline. Disciplinary procedures are located in the context of the nature of professions and professionalism. Humanrights legislation relevant to professionaldiscipline is examined and its impact in the context of the nature of rights in general, and humanrights in particular, is explored. The ICAS disciplinary changes are discussed in the context of a Hohfeldian-type framework of a range of types of rights. ICAS's procedures are shown to be multifaceted and, when examined in terms of rights (and, where relevant, duties) provide added insight into the nature of accountancy's professionaldiscipline, but deficiencies remain, with the public interest continuing to be subservient to the private interest of accountants and their professional body.
- Human rights
- Public interest