General Medical Council v Adeogba; General Medical Council v Visvardis [2016] EWCA Civ 162

Posted by Rebecca Vanstone on

This case confirms the approach to be adopted by the Regulator when responding to Registrants who have not engaged with the proceedings; it reaffirms the approach to be taken when deciding whether to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. The suggestion that Regulators should take steps above and beyond those prescribed for within the rules in order to effect service, was disregarded by Sir Brian Leveson P as putting a burden upon them which is far beyond that which is appropriate. The panel can exercise its discretion to proceed in absence provided the regulator has taken all reasonable steps to effect service. Thereafter the panel can take into account the particular circumstances of the case including, notably, the Registrant's behaviour throughout the investigatory stages of proceedings. If a Registrant has chosen not to keep in touch with the Regulator or failed to provide them with an updated address, knowing he is suspended or that an investigation is ongoing, the fact that he was not subsequently aware of the date of the hearing will not be sufficient to justify reversing a decision of a Panel to proceed in his absence. Additionally, if a Registrant challenges the legitimacy of the process, they should do so through the correct means available (judicial review), rather than seeking to frustrate the case management stages so as to prevent a Panel from proceeding in absence.  In those circumstances, a Panel would be entitled to conclude that a Registrant had not engaged with the process.

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Rebecca is an Associate Barrister within the Professional Regulatory team at Blake Morgan.

Rebecca Vanstone
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