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Struck-off solicitor banned from actions against SRA

A former solicitor has been placed under a civil restraint order to curb his ‘consistent’ claims, applications and appeals to the courts. Farid El Diwany appeared in the administrative court today where the Solicitors Regulation Authority sought a civil restraint order to ‘prevent any litigation against the SRA as a body, its officers, representatives and employees.’

El Diwany argued he was within his right to litigate. He told the court: ‘I have a gift for speaking the truth and reprimanding individuals and organisations.’

Benjamin Tankel, for the SRA, said there was a ‘strong public interest’ in a civil restraint order ‘protecting the court system from abuse.’

The court heard that El Diwany, who was struck off in 2019 after it emerged he had harrassment convictions in Norway, had brought several actions against the SRA and that at least three applications had been certified totally without merit.

Tankel added: ‘We are beginning to see not only Mr El Diwany appealing whenever he can but also complaining of individuals and then appealing those complaints. He is generating never-ending litigation.’

‘Mr El Diwany broadly falls into two areas [with his arguments],’ Tankel said. 'First that his convictions in Norway were unfair, second in tribunal Mr El Diwany was provoked to act in the way he had done.

‘The overarching point I wish to make about [El Diwany’s witness statement], he does not deny making the applications, he explains why it is justified to make the applications…but does not deny he made them.

‘Quantitatively you have got well over three [without merit applications or claims], however one counts them [applications without merit] could easily be into double figures. There have been multiple applications in close succession, a dogged and single-minded pursuit of the same issue, the threshold of a civil restraint order is made out.

‘Mr El Diwany appeals everything, complains about most, if not all, the professionals and judges in cases against him and never takes no for an answer.’

Tankel added: ‘The circumstances are Mr El Diwany believes he is the victim of a vast Islamophobic conspiracy and is determined to establish that is the case in the court. Those are circumstances that are not going to change, nor Mr El Diwany’s belief, nor the response of the court is going to change.’

El Diwany said the SRA’s application for a civil restrain order was ‘totally without merit.’ He added: ‘I regard myself as a hero in the forefront of protest against scheming Islamophobia.

‘I hope one day that I will win eventually, if not in the courts, outside them. I’d have to be completely off my head…not to do something and litigate. I do not lack all insight into what I am doing, [to say that] is the greatest insult to a litigant.’

When asked by Mr Justice Murray if his issuing of applications without merit was ‘persistent’ El Diwany agreed.

He said: ‘It is…when you say persist, you only have a few weeks to appeal. I’m not going to let it go.’

Speaking to Justice Murray, El Diwany added: ‘I will not continue [pursuing litigation], I do not have the money.

‘I said before I die I want to make sure people get the message that…this court is Islamophobic. It is institutionally racist.’

Justice Murray, who will also provide a written judgment, granted SRA’s application for a civil restraint order against El Diwany, who can appeal the decision within 21 days after the written judgment is published.

Justice Murray said: ‘Mr El Diwany believes it is part of a cover up by the judiciary’s institutional rascim and stark Islamophobia which is backed by the report [from the University of Manchester].

‘I do not doubt the sincerity of Mr El Diwany’s sense of grievance and have no basis to disagree with anything Mr El Diwany says about what happened in Norway or his statement that he has been subject to vile abuse as a result of any stories in the press.’

The court heard the judge condemn the abuse El Diwany had been subject to but could not take it into account of the civil restraint proceedings.

The order, which came into effect today for a period of three years, means that if El Diwany wants to pursue a claim, application or litigation in the High Court or any country court against the SRA, he must seek permission from Justice Murray first.

El Diwany was also ordered to pay the SRA’s costs totalling £5,993.50.

By Bianca Castro
8 December 2022
The Law Society Gazette

Original article HERE

And another one on 7 July 2023, but do I give a damn? No! : ...

Extended civil restraint order made against struck off solicitor

A judge said he had ‘no hesitation’ in making an extended civil restraint order against a former solicitor who ‘persistently makes applications that have been certified as totally without merit’.

The Honourable Mr Justice Murray in Farid El Diwany v Solicitors Regulation Authority made the order to cover any matter that is a direct or indirect consequence of the disciplinary proceedings that led to the 2019 SDT decision to strike El Diwany off the roll. If El Diwany wants to make a claim or application he must obtain permission under the ECRO for a period of three years.

The judge said: ‘I am satisfied that the risk that the ECRO is aimed at addressing will persist for at least that period of time, if not longer, having regard to the history of these matters.’

El Diwany was struck off in 2019 after the SRA became aware he had harassment convictions in Norway in 2001 and 2003. Since then, El Diwany had brought a number of High Court actions in a fight to be restored to the roll.

The judge said: ‘Mr El Diwany persistently makes applications that have been certified as totally without merit. I am satisfied that it has been objectively established by the evidence before me, including the witness statements of both parties and their various attachments, that there is a significant risk that Mr El Diwany will continue to issue further claims and/or make further applications in relation to matters arising out of or connected to the SRA disciplinary proceedings that are totally without merit and, therefore, an abuse of the court’s process.’

El Diwany had two ECROs made against him which will each expire on 18 January 2024 in relation to proceedings brought against the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman.

Murray added that further background, including articles in the Law Society Gazette and correspondence sent by El Diwany to Capsticks LLP and the SRA ‘reinforced’ his assessment that ‘there is a material risk that if an ECRO is not made, Mr El Diwany will make further applications that are totally without merit’.

He said: ‘In light of the foregoing, I have no hesitation in concluding that it is just to make an ECRO against Mr El Diwany.’

Finishing his judgment, he acknowledged the ‘vile Islamophobic abuse’ El Diwany has previously told the court he has been subject to in Norway.

Murray said: ‘I wish to make clear that I have no reason to doubt that Mr El Diwany has been the subject of vile Islamophobic abuse in Norway. Any such abuse is inexcusable, must be condemned, and I do condemn it.

‘That unfortunate history, however, is not relevant to my determination of the application. I cannot, for these limited purposes, re-open decisions that have already been made, against which there has been no successful appeal.’

El Diwany has told the Gazette he plans to appeal.

By Bianca Castro
7 July 2023
The Law Society Gazette

Original article HERE

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