Independent Review Board and Independent Complaints Board

Terms of Reference


  • Following the EHRC report into antisemitism in the Labour Party, the Party committed to establishing an independent complaints process.
  • The outline and details of a new independent complaints process for dealing with protected characteristic complaints was approved by Labour’s Annual Conference on 26 September 2021 with just under three-quarters of Conference voting in favour of the reform (73.64%).

The new process for handling complaints involving protected characteristics

  • The new process includes the establishment of two new bodies: the Independent Review Board (IRB) and the Independent Complaints Board(ICB).
  • The IRB will have a pool of 6 lawyers working in rotation and will review all disciplinary decisions involving complaints involving protected characteristics that are made by panels of the NEC Complaints and Disciplinary Sub-Committee.
  • The lawyers will have the power to either veto or verify decisions made by panels of the NEC Complaints and Disciplinary Sub-Committee. If a determination is vetoed, a newly constituted panel will be convened to determine that particular case (and that decision will then be subsequently reviewed by a lawyer from the IRB).
  • The ICB inserts the second element of independence into the Party’s complaints process. The ICB role is to hear complaints involving protected characteristics and to determine appeals brought against decisions taken by the NEC in respect of complaints involving protected characteristics.
  • The ICB will have 12 members: 4 lawyers, 4 HR or regulatory experts and 4 Labour Party lay members. They will sit as panels of 3 (one from each category, with the lawyer acting as chair) to hear and determine cases.
  • The new independent boards are expected to be up and running by March 2022.

Key measurables

  • Each role (18 in total) on the Independent Complaints Board and the Independent Review Board filled and ready to start in April 2022.
  • 100 per cent. of all relevant protected characteristics cases will be reviewed, determined and/or heard by the IRB or ICB from April 2022.
  • All those hearing (or reviewing) cases in the independent process to attend the antisemitism awareness training before they commence their role.
  • A review of the process to be completed by the end of 2022.

Independent Review and Complaints Boards launch:

  • The Independent Review Board and the Independent Complaint Board launch in April 2022 and will start to scrutinise cases this month.
  • All 18 roles on the Independent Review Board and the Independent Complaints Board have been filled.
  • Members have received antisemitism and other essential Labour Party training.
  • All relevant protected characteristics cases will reviewed or determined from now by the IRB or ICB.