Legally Qualified Chairs (LQCs) lead police misconduct hearings. They are independent individuals who meet the judicial appointment eligibility conditions and are appointed every five years. You can read more about the regulations and selection of misconduct hearings here.
LQCs were introduced under changes to the Police (Conduct) Regulations made in 2015, to replace senior police officers as the chairs of misconduct panels to make the process more transparent, independent and fairer. Under these regulations Commissioners appointed and held a list of LQCs, but Police Professional Standard Departments still appointed them to hearings. The Police (Conduct) Regulations 2020 made further changes so that Commissioners now also appoint them to hearings to further increase the independence.
In Bedfordshire, the Commissioner works collaboratively with fellow Commissioners across the Eastern region to hold a list of LQCs. This means that a list is appointed and used by all the Commissioners across the Eastern region. The list is held by Hertfordshire PCC on behalf of the region.
LQCs are appointed to hearings using a ‘cab rank’ system, whereby the list is compiled and the LQCs are offered hearings from across the region in turn. Once an LQC or Independent Member (IM) has been appointed, a decision is published on the OPCC website.