The on-going war of attrition at the heart of the ARB looks set to be heading for the courts.
ARB rebel Ian Salisbury said it was 'inevitable' that current legal wranglings between himself and the board would end in 'a very public court case'.
This civil case would be over an injunction that the board issued against Salisbury earlier this year (AJ 12.8.04), which forced him to stop revealing details of confidential legal advice commissioned relating to Part 3.
Salisbury said that he was committed to fighting the injunction in the courts, a move that he said could cost 'thousands of pounds' if he lost.
'The situation has reached such a point that it seems inevitable that this will end up in court, ' he said. 'My lawyers have warned that the board will fight me in the courts and they will want to get me to pay their expenses. This could cost me up to £40,000.
'However, my lawyers believe that I would stand an extremely good chance of winning and so I will do it. If I won it could be the beginning of the end for the ARB in its current guise.' If the case does go ahead, it will be the culmination of an angry debate that has continued for months between those on the board who want to pare back its activities - led by Salisbury and his cohort Nick Tweddell - and those who support the status quo.
Salisbury said the case, which would be heard in front of a judge, would cover vast swathes of the board's work and could prove embarrassing. 'But I feel that I am definitely in the right, and it is my duty as an elected member of the board to take this on. I represent a lot of people's views and must not simply give in, ' Salisbury added.
The ARB's registrar and chief executive, Robin Vaughan, who was instrumental in the original injunction, insisted that a court battle would 'not be at our insistence'.
'If Ian decides to take it this far, the board will have to come to a decision about how we would respond, ' he said.