Blake Morgan PRT Commentary on the TZ V General Medical Council [2015] EWHC 1001 (Admin) Judgment

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This is a very lengthy decision where Gilbart J goes through the authorities, and indeed formulates a test in order to address what he considered to be the primary appeal point, namely whether a Fitness to Practise Panel had been right in refusing to consider an application by the Appellant Registrant to adduce further evidence after the Panel had adjourned to consider its factual findings on the issue of misconduct, and had sent "an embargoed draft of its findings to the parties, but had yet not handed down those findings".

After referring to such authorities as Lord Denning's Ladd v Marshall [1954] 1 WLR 1489, Gilbart J concluded that the Panel should not have refused to hear the application, because they were not, as advised by the legal assessor and counsel for the GMC, "Functus Officio" i.e. beyond their jurisdiction, merely because they had handed down a draft of their decision on misconduct. Having addressed this issue, Gilbart J then examined what type of evidence could be adduced and he provided the subsequent test for future Panels:

  1. What was the relevance of the new evidence?
  2. Why had it not been called before?
  3. What significance did it have in the context of the draft findings of the Panel?
  4. What effects would its admission have on the conduct of the hearing, and in particular on:
    a) The need to recall witnesses
    b) The length of the hearing
  5. Taking all matters into account, would justice be done if it were not received and heard?

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