The Court of Appeal has today handed down Judgment in R (Lim Mey Lee) v General Medical Council  EWCA 99 (Civ).
This judicial review appeal raised two issues of law. The first concerned the application of Rule 4(5) of the GMC’s Fitness to Practise Rules, the effect of which is that the GMC will not generally investigate allegations where the events in question are more than five years old. The question for the Court was whether, in a case to which s35C(2)(e) of the Medical Act 1983 applies, i.e. a case in which the GMC in the UK is considering taking fitness to practise action against a doctor who has been the subject of an adverse determination from a regulator abroad, the “events” in question include the foreign regulator’s determination (as the GMC contended), or the doctor’s misconduct (as the Appellant contended). The Court of Appeal, dismissing the appeal on this point, held that the GMC’s interpretation of the Rule was correct.
The second issue was whether a registered doctor who has been found guilty of misconduct by a regulator abroad and suspended from practice there, is obliged to tell the GMC promptly about the adverse findings, at a time when she is still appealing her suspension (and the findings that led to it) to the higher Courts in that other jurisdiction, and in circumstances where the legal effect of the appeal in that jurisdiction is to suspend the foreign regulator’s suspension order. Agreeing with the GMC and dismissing the appeal, the Court of Appeal held that she does have such an obligation.
Click here for the full judgment.
Fordham QC and Jason Pobjoy acted for the Appellant doctor.
David Pievsky acted for the General Medical Council