NDORS was never put on the statutory footing that Dr North originally envisaged in the Road Traffic Law Review of 1988. From the outset, it was decreed by a legal opinion, that the power to divert someone from prosecution into an NDORS course rested with the common law power of discretion that a Police Officer can use. This legal opinion was reinforced in 2010 when services of a senior QC were commissioned to review the legal basis of the NDORS regime as it stood in 2010. The QC produced a comprehensive report that went far beyond legitimising the common law power, by making commentary on the wider public interest being applied to NDORS, and generally concluding that diversion to these courses should be an option of first choice for a police officer or decision maker were appropriate.
Whilst the full legal opinion is not disclosable in the public domain, due to it being subject of Legal Professional Privilege, NDORS have produced a summarised version of the legal opinion in the interests of accountability and transparency. This summarised version can be found by clicking FAQs
Attempts have been made to obtain the full legal opinion by applications under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and the decision not to disclose the information was challenged at a First Tier Tribunal on 14 October 2013. The tribunal found in favour of the Information Commissioner who originally supported the Home Office decision not disclose the document.The tribunal’s decision’s explanation can be found at this link:
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