Media By: Robert Kellar QC


The death of the ‘right to silence’ in regulatory proceedings?

9 August 2019 by

Two recent cases have important consequences for regulated professionals who fail to participate in regulatory hearings. In Kuzmin v. GMC [2019] EWHC 2129 (Admin) the issue was whether a tribunal can draw adverse inferences if a doctor declines to give evidence. Sanusi v. GMC [2019] EWCA Civ 1172 concerned the tribunal’s duty of procedural fairness where a professional fails to attend the hearing at all.

Kuzmin v. GMC

Background

The Claimant was a GP who faced an allegation of dishonesty. It was alleged that he had failed (dishonestly) to draw his employer’s attention to conditions imposed by the Interim Orders Tribunal. The doctor failed in his half-time submission of no case to answer. The doctor then indicated that he would not be giving any evidence and applied to withdraw his witness statement.  The GMC sought a preliminary ruling that, as a matter of principle, the Tribunal had the power to draw adverse inferences in such circumstances. The Tribunal agreed, whereupon the Claimant sought an adjournment and applied for judicial review. 


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