Dr D, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Health: CA 19 Jul 2006

The doctor complained of the use of Alert letters where he was suspected of sexual abuse of patients, but the allegations were unsubstantiated. He complained particularly that he had been acquitted in a criminal court and then also by the professional conduct committee of the GMC.
Held: There had been very poor administration of the issue of the letter, but the failures did not assist the claimant. The core submission was that the charge having been dismissed by the committee, it was unlawful to issue the letter on the same basis: ‘the more serious a public authority’s interference with an individual’s interests, the more substantial will be the justification which the court will require if the interference is to be permitted. ‘ There was in this case a pressing need to inform the employer that 6 women had separately made accusations against the doctor, even though no convictions had followed.


Ward LJ, Laws LJ, Longmore LJ


Times 28-Aug-2006, [2006] EWCA Civ 989




England and Wales


CitedRegina v Chief Constable of North Wales Police and Others Ex Parte Thorpe and Another; Regina v Chief Constable for North Wales Police Area and others ex parte AB and CB CA 18-Mar-1998
Public Identification of Pedophiles by Police
AB and CB had been released from prison after serving sentences for sexual assaults on children. They were thought still to be dangerous. They moved about the country to escape identification, and came to be staying on a campsite. The police sought . .
CitedRegina (X) v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police CA 30-Jul-2004
The claimant had been accused of offences, but the prosecution had been discontinued when the child victims had failed to identify him. The police had nevertheless notified potential employers and he had been unable to obtain work as a social . .
Appeal fromDr D v The Secretary of State for Health Admn 13-Dec-2005
There had been a series of unsubstantiated allegations against the doctor of sexual abuse of patients. He challenge the issue of an Alert Letter under the 1977 Act when further allegations were made. The complainants were not capable of giving . .
CitedAssociated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd v Wednesbury Corporation CA 10-Nov-1947
Administrative Discretion to be Used Reasonably
The applicant challenged the manner of decision making as to the conditions which had been attached to its licence to open the cinema on Sundays. It had not been allowed to admit children under 15 years of age. The statute provided no appeal . .
CitedIn Re V (Minors) (Sexual Abuse: Disclosure); In Re L (Sexual Abuse; Disclosure) CA 8-Oct-1998
In each case the local authority involved in care proceedings sought to disclose to others (another authority and the football league), information which had come to light regarding sexual improprieties of the parties to the cases. It was . .
CitedMullen, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 29-Apr-2004
The claimant had been imprisoned, but his conviction was later overturned. He had been a victim of a gross abuse of executive power. The British authorities had acted in breach of international law and had been guilty of ‘a blatant and extremely . .
CitedRegina v Local Authority and Police Authority in the Midlands ex parte LM 2000
The applicant owned a bus company whose contract with the local education authority for the provision of school bus services was terminated after the disclosure by the police and the social services department of a past investigation into an . .
CitedHammern v Norway ECHR 11-Feb-2003
The claimant was acquitted by a jury at trial and he then sought compensation for the period of his detention on remand. The test applied was whether ‘it is shown to be probable that he did not perform the act that formed the basis for the charge’. . .
CitedRegina v Z (Prior acquittal) HL 22-Jun-2000
The defendant on a charge of rape had been tried and acquitted of the rape of different women on three previous occasions in three separate trials. The prosecution wished to call those three complainants to give similar fact evidence in support of . .
CitedPG and JH v The United Kingdom ECHR 25-Sep-2001
The use of covert listening devices within a police station was an infringement of the right to privacy, since there was no system of law regulating such practices. That need not affect the right to a fair trial. The prosecution had a duty to . .
CitedRegina (A) v Chief Constable of C QBD 2001
The court considered the disclosure of unproved allegations as between police forces. Police authorities had disclosed information concerning the claimant to each other and in one case to a local authority. The information related to allegations of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Health Professions, Human Rights, Administrative

Updated: 07 July 2022; Ref: scu.243321