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The High Court has given an important decision on the extent to which “under prosecution” of a professional disciplinary case can lead to a successful appeal.

The appeal was against the decision made by a Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) of the General Dental Council (GDC) to grant an application by a former dentist for his name to be restored to the Dentists' Register. The dentist’s name had been erased from the Register following a criminal conviction in 2010 for conspiracy to defraud. He sought restoration on grounds that he was a reformed character who posed no risk of repeating such misconduct. 

The appeal was brought by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA) and was supported by the GDC. The appeal focused on a civil judgment which found that the dentist had given evidence that was untrue at a trial which took place as recently as 2017. This judgment was not put before the PCC when it was considering the case. 

The High Court accepted the PSA’s and GDC’s argument that this constituted a serious procedural irregularity and rendered the PCC’s decision unjust and wrong.

The full judgment is available here.

Iain Steele acted for the GDC.

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