News & Insights

Case Law Updater


March 2021 to February 2022


General Medical Council v Abdulkhaled Ahmed

[2022] EWHC 403 (Admin)

Short suspension without review – GMC Appeal – effect of time spent on interim suspension

[91] … It is clear that the fact that a doctor has been subject to an interim suspension order is a factor that the MPT is permitted to take into account when making its multi-factorial decision as to the appropriate sanction. It is also correct as a matter of language, albeit infelicitous in this context, that the imposition of the sanction of suspension would involve for Dr Ahmed a “further” period of suspension from his practice.

[96] … the MPT was entitled to conclude, in all the circumstances, including Dr Ahmed’s having already served an interim suspension of four months, and bearing in mind that this was not a case involving any threat to patient health or safety, that a suspension of two months in this case was sufficient to maintain public confidence in the medical profession and to maintain proper professional standards and conduct for members of the medical profession.

Gidiplus Limited  v Financial Conduct Authority

[2022] UKUT 43 (TCC)

Cryptoasset exchange provider – application for registration refused – suspension pending appeal upheld

Registration refused following concerns relating to: probity; risk assessment; CDD; and transaction monitoring/compliance with Reg28(11) MLRs.

[62] … given the serious concerns identified in the Decision Notice and the lack of evidence as to how Gidiplus would undertake its business in a broadly compliant fashion pending determination of its appeal, I cannot be satisfied that allowing Gidiplus to continue to carry on its activities pending the determination of this appeal will not prejudice those who are intended to be protected by the Authority’s decision to refuse Gidiplus’s application for registration under the MLRs.

General Medical Council v Noor Ahmed

[2022] EWHC 424 (Admin)

Dishonesty – Erasure – failure to disclose previous FtP history – appeal dismissed

[1] The Appellant, Dr Noor Ahmed, is, in clinical terms, an excellent doctor. He has a long and distinguished record in his specialty of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, is highly regarded by colleagues, particularly in laparoscopic and minimally invasive gynaecological surgery, has a respected body of research work, and is the author of a number of papers published in recognised journals.

[2] It is, therefore, lamentable that a medic of such high ability should find himself having to appeal against the decision of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal […] that his name be erased from the Medical Register. The Tribunal made adverse findings as to the Appellant’s conduct relating to the failure to disclose full details of previous Fitness to Practise (“FTP”) decisions, an ongoing FTP investigation and other matters to a prospective employer in an application form and during a job interview. The Tribunal found such conduct to be dishonest, that the dishonesty was particularly serious and that his FTP was impaired by reason of his conduct. The Tribunal also considered whether FTP was impaired by reason of the Appellant’s health but concluded that it was not.

[91] … Having considered all the material before this court, I unhesitatingly come to the conclusion that the sanction of erasure was appropriate and necessary in the public interest. The allegations found proved against the Appellant were very serious. Although not related to clinical matters, they went to other fundamental aspects of character and probity which the public is entitled to expect of medical practitioners. The alteration of documents, the lack of insight even after an earlier finding of dishonesty in 2008, and the repeated pattern of conduct all lead to the inevitable conclusion that, as the Tribunal found, erasure was the only proportionate sanction.

[92] … The outcome of erasure is a very sad one for such a capable and distinguished doctor, but it was, in my judgment, entirely correct.

Nursing and Midwifery Council v Somerville

[2022] EWCA Civ 229

FtP committee members – whether ‘workers’ within Working Time Regulations 1998

[61] … the employment tribunal was entitled to find that the claimant was a worker within the meaning of limb (b) of the definition of a worker in regulation 2(1) of the Regulations. He was a person who entered into, and indeed had worked under, a series of individual contracts under which he had undertaken to (and did) perform services (chairing Fitness to Practise Committees) personally. The Council was not a client or customer of a business or professional undertaking carried on by the claimant.

Sawati v General Medical Council

[2022] EWHC 238 (Admin)

Dishonesty and misconduct – erasure – sanction quashed 

[139] The Tribunal’s determination of sanction discloses serious irregularity and error of principle, sufficient in themselves to make it unjust. It failed properly to assess and/or articulate the gravity of the misconduct it had established, by failing to make any, or any sufficient, assessment of the seriousness of the primary misconduct by reference to Dr Sawati’s actions and their consequences; and of the seriousness of the dishonesty, including by reference to the ‘authoritative steer’ of the Sanctions Guidance and the examples given there. It failed to direct itself properly, fairly or at all to risks of injustice in regarding Dr Sawati’s rejected defences to the allegations of dishonesty as grounds for aggravating sanction and it is not possible to be satisfied from its determination that it nevertheless avoided those risks. I am not satisfied that it handled Dr Sawati’s case fairly, and reached a conclusion on sanction which was demonstrably just.

Civil Aviation Authority v Ryanair DAC

[2022] EWCA Civ 76

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 – compensation for cancelled flights – whether payable following industrial action 

[43] “The Judge was right to reject Ryanair’s contention that the flight cancellations at issue were caused by “extraordinary circumstances” in his impressive judgment. The strikes from which the cancellations arose, relating as they did to employment conditions of employees of Ryanair, did not constitute “extraordinary circumstances” whether or not the aims of the strikers were reasonable or achievable and notwithstanding the involvement of trade unions”


Guise v Solicitors Regulation Authority

[2022] EWHC 124 (Admin)

Dishonesty and misconduct – strike off – Tribunal’s approach to evidence – Art 6 ECHR – written reasons – appeal dismissed

G appealed a decision of the SRA to strike him from the roll. G argued that the SDT had misinterpreted or failed to consider properly evidence before it. The Court disagreed, suggesting the central issue in the case was the SDT’s assessment of credibility. The Court restated, in respect of tribunals’ written decisions, that: “full reasons are not required for every aspect of a decision [17];” and “authorities are replete with dicta which say that it will be rare that an appellate court will diverge from a finding of fact on witness evidence by the trial judge who had the opportunity to hear and assess that evidence. [66]

Henning v General Dental Council

[2022] EWHC 175 (Admin)

Impairment – retirement of practitioner – suspension appropriate where conditions not workable due to retirement – appeal dismissed

[112] The Committee concluded that given that the Appellant had retired from clinical practice, it “could not see how it could formulate a set of conditions that would protect the public and address wider public interest considerations”, such that “conditional registration in the circumstances of this case would not be practical or workable”. [124] Moving to the next possible sanction of conditions, the Committee was required to consider whether any conditions were practical and workable. The applicable Guidance makes clear that this applies, even if – as here – difficulties with practicality or workability are due to circumstances such as retirement. [125] The Committee was entitled to conclude, based on the lack of evidence of the Appellant having the necessary structure and support network, that conditions were not, yet, practical and workable in this case. [126] The Committee was therefore entitled to consider that a suspension with review was the appropriate sanction, bearing in mind the twin purposes of protecting individual patients from risk and the wider public interest.

Rahim v General Medical Council

[2022] EWHC 137 (Admin)

Dishonesty and misconduct – erasure – procedural irregularity – disclosure – appeal dismissed

No procedural irregularity where cross-examination of expert curtailed. As to disclosure, [60] “the nature of disclosure is that the parties act as gatekeepers, having professional duties to make the relevant disclosure. In this case, the matter of disclosure was considered by the Tribunal and the GMC. It has not been shown that the matter was neglected by either or that there was a wrong test applied or that the matter was not evaluated. It has not been shown that there is an inference that there are or are likely to be documents which have not been disclosed which ought to have been disclosed.” [77] “The Tribunal was well within its powers in approaching the evidence in the way in which it chose to do so.”

R(on the application of Wheeler) v Police Appeals Tribunal

[2022] EWHC 117 (Admin)

Lack of integrity – dismissal – nexus to profession – application for JR refused

[135] The premise of the Claimant’s argument – that lack of integrity must be linked to the exercise of the profession in question, and safeguarding client money is not part of the role of a police officer – is unsound. The Court of Appeal in Wingate did not say that the conduct in question, in order to lack integrity, had to take place as part of the role of the profession involved.


White v General Medical Council

[2021] EWHC 3286 (Admin)

Social media usage – conditions of practice – COVID-19 – Art 10 ECHR – appeal allowed

Conditions of practice imposed by interim order included “not [to] use social media to put forward or share any views about the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated aspects” and “ remove any social media posts he has been responsible for or has shared relating to his views of the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated aspects.” The Court found that [23] “the IOT approached the making of the order in this case on what might be described as a conventional assessment of the balance of risk and proportionality, without appreciating and applying the specific provisions arising if they were proposing to restrict the practitioner’s freedom of expression.” [27] “It follows that on this analysis there was an error of law in the IOT’s decision based upon the nature of the conditions which they intended to impose and the impact which they had on article 10. The decision was wrong from a purely procedural perspective.”

PSA v General Dental Council and Amir

[2021] EWHC 3230 (Admin)

Unjustified treatment – misleading claims – three-month suspension – public protection  – sanction of erasure substituted

[82] “[The] PCC failed to take a holistic view of the second respondent’s conduct, with the result that it failed to investigate the reasons lying behind the inadequate treatment given by the second respondent to Patient A. Such a conclusion might be said to point towards remittal, rather than substitution of a sanction. However, as is evident from my findings in respect of those grounds, had the PCC not fallen into error in this regard, the only conclusion that it could reasonably have reached was that the treatment of Patient A stemmed directly from the intensely problematic professional stance adopted by the second respondent, as articulated on his website, and in his evidence to the PCC.” [83] “Overall, even without the finding of dishonesty which I have made, I am in no doubt that the only reasonable regulatory response to the facts of this case is that the second respondent should be erased from the register.”

Wray v General Ostepathic Council

[2021] EWHC 3620 (Admin)

Conviction – conditional discharge – unacceptable professional conduct  – sanction admonishment – appeal of EHWC (Admin) decision of no UPC – appeal dismissed

[56] “Where (a) an osteopath has been convicted of an offence, and (b) a conditional discharge has been imposed, and (c) the Council brings disciplinary proceedings against the osteopath, it is not open to the Council to rely upon the fact of the conviction as such. In practical terms, that means that the Council may not proceed by a case relating to conviction. However, s. 14(1) does not prevent the Council from proceeding against an osteopath by way of a case relating to conduct, the conduct in question being the conduct which provided the reason for his prosecution and the basis for his conviction. But in a case relating to conduct, it is for the Council to allege and prove the facts that are said to amount to UPC.”

[64] “Where an unequivocal plea of guilty is entered by a person who has the benefit of legal representation, that plea is an admission against interest and is likely to be weighty evidence. On the face of it, a criminal conviction is compelling evidence of guilt in cases where the civil standard of proof is engaged, unless there is some compelling evidence to show that it would be wrong to accept it as such. A person’s evidence about why they pleaded guilty when they did may involve a waiver of privilege and may call for close scrutiny. The Court has a residual discretion and power to refuse to entertain a case that amounts to an abusive collateral attack upon a subsisting conviction: see [31], [32], [35] and [41] of Munir. These principles are not in doubt and are of general application. But what is important for the present case is that they do not involve a black-letter rule that a person may never seek to go behind a conviction even where that conviction was upon their own plea of guilty.”

[118] “The fact that the case was one relating to conduct meant that the Council was obliged to prove the facts it alleged to constitute UPC including, in this case, the facts that had given rise to the prosecution; and, in doing so, it could not rely upon the conviction as such. It was therefore open to the Registrant to “go behind” his conviction in the sense that it was open to him to challenge the underlying facts alleged against him unless to do so amounted to an abuse of process, which is not and cannot reasonably be suggested on the facts of this case.”

[129] To my mind, the Judge’s approach to the issue of UPC as set out at [59]-[61] of her judgment was correct in principle, applied the correct test for UPC, and demonstrates no error of application. She gave due deference to the specialist nature of the PCC and I would hold that she was entitled to reach the conclusion she did on UPC for the reasons she gave. I make plain that I reach this conclusion on the facts of this case, which I hope and believe to be unique: it should not be taken as any form of precedent for other cases, each of which should be treated on their own particular facts.

[130] It follows that, although I disagree with the Judge’s approach to the procedure that was adopted by the PCC, I would uphold the Judge’s conclusion that the Registrant’s conduct did not amount to UPC and would dismiss this appeal.

General Medical Council v Webberley

[2021] EWHC 3620 (Admin)

Interim suspension – application to extend – delay – eight-month extension sought – limited (three-month) extension granted

Bakhare v General Medical Council

[2021] EWHC 3278 (Admin)

Clinical concerns – repeated dishonesty (2011) – lack of insight – erasure – appeal dismissed

[66] “This is therefore a case where seriously dishonest conduct is combined with a lack of insight and an attempt to cover up the dishonesty […] That made suspension an inappropriate sanction. Sullivan J considered in R(Farah) v GMC that nothing short of erasure is likely to be appropriate in such a case, whatever the mitigating factors might be.” [74] “[In] a case such as this personal mitigation should be given limited weight, as the reputation of the profession in such a serious case of dishonesty is more important than the fortunes of an individual member.”

Ahmedsowida v General Medical Council

[2021] EWHC 3466 (Admin)

Dishonesty – erasure – procedural irregularities – culmination of incidents wrongful dilution of dishonesty test – doctor’s refusal to accept factual findings at impairment stage –  decision on impairment and sanction set aside

[157] “ The appeal has exposed three errors in the determinations which I have already identified: (i) erroneous treatment of charge 15b relating to the second incident as serious misconduct; (ii) the findings of recklessness in the provision of certain information in the first and second applications and in the second CV, at impairment stage, undermining the findings of dishonesty in respect of the same conduct, at the fact finding stage; and (iii) holding against Dr Sowida his refusal to admit to dishonesty, at the impairment and sanction stage.” [74] The drafting of the charges left much to be desired, but [Dr Sowida]] did, indeed, know the case he had to meet. I agree with the tribunal’s determination that the amendments could be made without injustice.” [109]  “The tribunal appeared to regard Beatson LJ’s obiter observations [in Schodlok] as providing them with carte blanche to cumulate charges considered in clusters. That approach is not supported by Schodlok or any other authority cited to me. While the situation is different from that in Oyesanya because, in this case, the concerns were not merely generalised but specified, there was no clear foundation in authority for the cumulation exercise undertaken.” [111] “The cumulation exercise, if permissible at all, is supposed to involve the cumulation of non-serious with other non-serious misconduct findings; not of one non-serious misconduct finding with two findings of misconduct that is serious in its own right. In the latter context, there is no good reason to cumulate; the quality of the conduct is already correctly expressed, without the need for any cumulation.” [123] “I am troubled by the tribunal’s proposition, repeated three times, that Dr Sowida was “reckless … and therefore dishonest” [124] “I am not willing to overlook the difference between dishonesty and recklessness on the basis that it is just a slip or a linguistic infelicity.” [152] “There was no proper examination by the tribunal of the quality of the evidence given by Dr Sowida, as distinct from his resistance to and refusal to admit the charges.”


PSA v General Optical Council & Rose

[2021] EWHC 2888 (Admin)

Optometrist – dishonesty and misconduct – nine-month suspension – impairment and sanction decisions quashed

[82] “The gaps in this FTPC’s analysis, logic and reasoning are too many and too significant for the public to be able to understand why, although it had found that Ms Rose had breached the fundamental tenets of her profession in a number of respects, brought her profession into disrepute, acted dishonestly and put her young patient at unwarranted risk of harm – inevitably failing to make an obvious diagnosis of signs of a life-threatening condition demanding urgent medical referral – there was no basis for fearing future risk to the public in her impaired FtP.” [83] “This determination discloses multiple and serious irregularities and errors of principle. These may be attributable to an overly disjunctive approach to the successive determinations of fact, misconduct and impairment; or possibly to a faulty understanding or application of the ‘personal/public’ approach as being distinctive, rather than complementary aspects of the overall public interest. In any event, the determination of impairment, so far is it relates to future public risk, is insufficiently reasoned to deal with what are otherwise gaps of logic and analysis, and internal inconsistencies. It does not make enough sense, on its own terms. So it does not do justice to the case, and to the public it considered entitled to be ‘extremely concerned’ by the grave misconduct established.”

Narayanasamy v Solicitors Regulation Authority

[2021] EWHC 2918 (Admin)

Dishonesty and misconduct – struck from the Roll – application to adduce fresh expert medical evidence on appeal – application dismissed

[6] “It is argued for the Appellant that had the medical evidence been before the SDT, that tribunal would not have found the Appellant dishonest.” [7] “The SRA opposes the Application.” [47] “This is […]a textbook example of new representatives bringing with them different ideas and second-guessing the judgments of those who came before them. As I said in oral argument, it can be fairly said that this is precisely the sort of “second bite of the cherry” situation which, for almost 70 years, Ladd v Marshall has sought to prevent” [59] “In evidence and through his Leading Counsel, the Appellant specifically and repeatedly confirmed that he did not claim to be suffering from a psychiatric condition and was not seeking to adduce medical evidence. The SDT duly recorded that fact. The Appellant was not a litigant in person – he benefited from expert legal advice and representation. The SDT was perfectly entitled to accept the Appellant’s evidence and Leading Counsel’s submissions.” [60] “As to reliance on Brookman v General Medical Council [2017] EWHC 2400, in my judgment that case is of no relevance. In Brookman, it was found that the GMC should have adjourned for medical evidence. However, this was in circumstances in which (amongst other things): (a) the respondent was a litigant in person; (b) the respondent gave evidence under oath that his judgment and conduct had been affected by psychiatric medication and also claimed to have autistic spectrum tendencies […] The facts are remote from those before me.” [62] “Finally, I reject the submission that the Application should succeed since it is important that a qualified solicitor capable of doing public service should not be struck off. Considerations of “public policy” cannot justify a departure from Ladd v Marshall.”


R (Mokhammad) v General Medical Council

[2021] EWHC 2889 (Admin)

Versions of events – standard of proof – insufficient reasoning

The claimant was a registered doctor who received a warning for making offensive remarks and using an offensive gesture in a hospital car park.  The Tribunal’s findings of fact were on the basis of a version of events that was not put forward by either party. The MPT should have given the parties a reasonable opportunity to address that version of events. Whilst the MPT, in making its findings of fact, was not constrained by the way in which the parties put their cases, the MPT’s obligation to give adequate reasons must nevertheless be viewed in this context. Indeed, the MPT’s reasoning was held not to be legally adequate where there was a finding against the claimant despite multiple issues that the Tribunal had identified with the evidence against him.

The case also features a useful discussion of the status of the standard of proof where there are serious allegations:

[26] the civil standard of proof does not vary with the gravity of the alleged misconduct. There is, therefore, no legal requirement that the more serious the allegation, the more cogent the evidence needed to prove it, although it is right to consider probability of an allegation in light of the particular circumstances of the case.”

Ukiwa v Bar Standards Board

[2021] EWHC 2830 (Admin) 

Relevant facts already determined in legal proceedings – conclusive presumptions

Where an issue to be determined by BTAS have already been determined in civil proceedings, those findings can be adopted by the Tribunal without re-proof.  In the case of previous civil proceedings, that is subject to the proviso that if the relevant factual findings are proved to the satisfaction of the Tribunal to be inaccurate – untrue or wrong, so that it would be unfair for the findings to be relied on – the default is disapplied. The fact that BTAS did indeed determine the issue de novo, affording the Appellant greater scrutiny, did not amount to a procedural irregularity.


Frensham v Financial Conduct Authority

[2021] UKUT 222 (TCC)

Withdrawal of approvals – sexual misconduct – fit and proper person

[7] Mr Frensham contends that the Authority has wrongly applied the fitness and properness test to the facts. In particular, Mr Frensham contends that the Authority allowed irrelevant considerations to affect its judgment and did not have sufficient or any regard to relevant factors. Among those factors are (i) Mr Frensham’s conviction did not relate to his regulated activity (ii) the conviction was not for an offence of dishonesty and (iii) there are no indirect connections between the criminal offence and Mr Frensham’s regulated activity, the criminal offence not being committed at Mr Frensham’s place of work, and his work is not likely to bring him into contact with a minor or put him at risk of breaching the conditions of his SHPO.”

[174] Our overall conclusion is that whilst we are not satisfied that a decision to make a prohibition order against Mr Frensham based solely on the fact of his conviction could have been reasonably arrived at by the Authority, we are satisfied that when the offence is considered in the light of (i) the circumstances in which it came to be committed and (ii) Mr Frensham’s failure to be open and cooperative with the Authority in a number of different respects following his initial arrest, the decision is one that was reasonably open to the Authority.”

[185] Mr Frensham’s offence will undoubtedly have resulted in revulsion on the part of right-thinking members of the public  […] The Authority is clearly entitled to take into account the nature of the offence in considering the effect it has had on both Mr Frensham’s reputation and the reputation of the industry as a whole. Mr Frensham’s personal reputation has clearly been severely damaged as a result of the offence. But the question is whether the offence affects the reputation of Mr Frensham as a financial adviser and therefore potentially has an impact on the Authority’s integrity objective. Furthermore, as was said at [54] of Beckwith, popular outcry is not proof that a particular set of events gives rise to any matter falling within a regulator’s remit.”

[190] […] had we been asked to decide this case on the basis of the conviction alone, then in the light of our findings of fact, it is likely that we would have asked the Authority to reconsider its decision […] However, as we have indicated, there are other factors which point in the other direction.”

[214] […] it is our experience that it is often the case that it is not the fact that a criminal offence has been committed that is fatal to an applicant’s case but the manner in which he deals with the consequences that follow. In this case, we have found that the way Mr Frensham dealt with those consequences demonstrated a lack of integrity which entitles the Authority to exercise the prohibition power in order to further its statutory objectives.”

[215] Although we have found some flaws in the Authority’s approach to the relevance of the conviction, in our view those flaws do not justify us asking the Authority to reconsider its decision.”

Byrne v General Medical Council

[2021] EWHC 2237 (Admin)

Erasure – sexual misconduct – test for interfering with findings of fact – delay between hearing and decision

A doctor was erased from medical register due to engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a vulnerable patient.

[113] This is not a case where there were competing accounts of what had occurred. In respect of most of the allegations, the Appellant’s evidence was a simple denial that the event or events had taken place. In such a case, the credibility of the denial can only be assessed by reference to the credibility of the evidence supporting the allegation which is denied.”

[115] Rather, the tension is said to be between the oral evidence and the absence of documentary evidence (in particular the absence of any record in the journal or emails of the conduct).”

Considering nature of conduct it was not surprising that there was no reference to it in emails or medical notes. The Tribunal properly considered any inconsistencies in detail and there was no reason to interfere with that.

A delay of 8 months between retirement and when findings of fact were handed down was not a breach of natural justice or an abuse of process. All but one of the decisions were made at the time and there was no reason to think that the Tribunal’s impression of the witnesses would have sufficiently changed. 

Metcalfe v Solicitors Regulation Authority

[2021] EWHC 2271 (Admin)

Striking off – dishonesty – exceptional circumstances

Allegations that a solicitor took part in fraudulent financial schemes were found proved before the SDT. SDT held that the conduct was a complete departure from the standards of a solicitor and the protection of the public required he be struck off. The Administrative Court summarised the case law that has held that when dishonesty is found, it requires exceptional circumstances to justify a sanction other than striking off.

R (Mond) v Insolvency Practitioners’ Association

[2021] EWHC 3325 (Admin)

Claimant’s costs liability after a successful appeal

The Appeal Committee of the Insolvency Practitioners’ Association fell into error when, having allowed the appeal and remitted the whole of a case on appeal, it allowed the original costs order for the first instance hearing to stand.

Arowojolu v General Medical Council

[2021] EWHC 2725 (Admin)

Erasure – burden/standard of proof – ancillary allegations

The Appellant was erased from the register due to allegations of sexual assault. The application was to quash the Tribunal’s factual determination as to the credibility of the complainant.

Offers a helpful analysis of the correct approach to ancillary evidence of historic allegations which the Appellant contended were fabrications in addition to the fabricated substantive allegations:

Firstly, the Tribunal should decide whether, on the balance of probabilities, the historic allegations were false.

Secondly, if it concluded they were false, it should have considered whether that proved a propensity to make false allegations. If so, the Tribunal should be directed to take this into account when judging credibility.

Further, not every issue requires a specific direction on the appropriate burden/standard.

Knowles J could not interfere with the Tribunal’s findings of fact.

JULY 2021

Forsyth v Financial Conduct Authority & Prudential Regulation Authority

[2021] UKUT 162 (TCC)

Lack of integrity – Statement of Principle 1 – financial penalty (limitation) – disclosure

UT allowed references relating to two decision notices, considering that the UT’s factual findings did not support a finding of lack of integrity.

The Tribunal did not need to go on to consider the limitation point, “[435] However, [was] troubled by what the Regulators have now admitted were failures in their duty to comply with the disclosure obligations imposed under the Tribunal’s procedure rules. As a result, the Regulators made disclosure of documentation relevant to the limitation issue just before and during the course of the Tribunal hearing which should have been disclosed not only much earlier in the proceedings in this Tribunal but also in the earlier regulatory proceedings.”

Eve v Bar Standards Board

[2021] EWHC 2030 (Admin)

Inadequacy of reasons – role of review body

The High Court held that the BSB exercises a quasi-judicial function and must give reasons so review body and court can properly scrutinise soundness of decision. It emphasised that this is also a component of good decision-making. The failure to provide adequate reasons in both the Original Decision and in the Review Decision was a serious irregularity. The matter was remitted for fresh determination as the BSB is an expert body, making it right for it to make decisions of this sort.

[88] In the case of a person particularly aggrieved by a lack of reasoning, it is unwise to make no attempt either to explain the original reasons, as the review body understands them, or to provide further or other reasons, even if the original decision is being upheld. In fact, an application which is refused will often call for fuller and more cogent reasoning than an application which is granted, because a disappointed party has a particular interest in understanding why they have not succeeded.”

General Medical Council & Anor v Bramhall

[2021] EWHC 2109 (Admin)

Criminal conviction – suspension – insufficient reasons

GMC imposed a 5-month suspension for a surgeon who used a surgical instrument to mark his initials on two patients’ livers. There were multiple factors in the case which could have justified erasure on their own. It was not clear from the decision why a suspension rather than erasure was sufficient to maintain public confidence. This was an unjustified departure from the Sanctions Guidance and a  serious irregularity. The case was remitted for a fresh determination by a differently constituted tribunal.

[43] In a conviction case, particularly where the conviction is for repeated offences of violence against patients in a clinical context, it is also important for a tribunal not to lose sight of what the criminal law, criminal procedure and the principles of sentencing law and practice have already had to say about the public interest considerations which should properly be brought to bear in considering gravity.”

JUNE 2021

General Medical Council v Armstrong

[2021] EWHC 1658 (Admin)


[50] “As already observed, the Tribunal also failed to consider the significance of the fact that the respondent’s dishonesty extended over a period of some two and a half years and of the sheer number of times that she resorted to it.” … “the Tribunal failed to engage with the weight of the public interest factors tending to a finding of impairment.”

[57] “In the present case, for the reasons I have given, the respondent’s dishonesty cannot be described as an isolated incident. She lied repeatedly, to different interlocutors over an extended period. She did so for financial gain. She did not do so in a stressful clinical situation. Accordingly, not only do these three cases not serve to support the Tribunal’s conclusions in the present case; properly analysed, they serve only to underscore the deficiencies in the Tribunal’s decision.”

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