Nwabueze v General Medical Council: PC 6 Apr 2000

Deliberations of the professional conduct committee hearing a case of professional conduct were in the presence of an assessor who gave advice to the committee. After returning from deliberation the assessor described the advice given, and the chairman announced his decision.
Held: This infringed the right under article 8 of the doctor to a fair trial since he was not allowed to comment on the advice given. Allegations which were irrelevant to the doctor’s practice should be deleted from the charge list presented. As to the lay member’s presence on the Professional Conduct Committee of the General Medical Council, Lord Hope of Craighead said: ‘From this summary it can be seen that Mrs. Walker was and is eminently well qualified to sit on the Professional Conduct Committee as one of its lay members. She brought to that membership an extensive knowledge of the health service in Wales, as a result of having worked there for many years as ~ nurse and midwife and her period of service as director of the South East Wales Institute. It is in the public interest that those who serve as lay members on disciplinary bodies of this kind should be well-informed and have experience of working in the area within which cases are likely to arise on which they may be called upon to adjudicate. It could not possibly be suggested that there was anything in Mrs. Walker’s general background that would be likely to give rise to the danger or possibility of bias on her part when she was considering a case from Wales.’


Lord Hope of Craighead


Times 11-Apr-2000, [2000] UKPC 16, (Appeal No 21 of 1999), [2000] 1 WLR 1760


Bailii, PC, PC


Medical Act 1983, European Convention on Human Rights 8


CitedFox v General Medical Council PC 1960
The appeal by a doctor from the disciplinary committee of the GMC to the board of the Privy Council lies of right by the statute and the terms of statute do not limit or qualify the appeal in any way, so that the appellant is entitled to claim that . .

Cited by:

CitedFlaherty v National Greyhound Racing Club Ltd CA 14-Sep-2005
The club regulated greyhound racing. The claimant had complained that its disciplinary proceedings had been conducted unfairly. He said that a panel member had an interest as veterinary surgeon in the proceedings at the stadium at which the alleged . .
CitedThe British Medical Association, Regina (on the Application of) v The General Medical Council and Another Admn 4-May-2016
The BMA sought to challenge the validity of the rules governing the procedure of Fitness to Practice panels. In particular the BMA challenged the new absence of a requirement that the panel’s legal advice and assistance be available to the parties. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Health Professions, Human Rights, Natural Justice

Updated: 01 June 2022; Ref: scu.159404