22-07-2013

Admission of fresh evidence/ hearsay evidence in disciplinary proceedings

R ( on the Application of  Shaikh)  v GPhC [2013] EWHC 1844 (Admin)

The pharmacist in question had faced allegations before the General Pharmaceutical Council which were found proven including dishonesty and serious professional misconduct. He appealed on a number of grounds including serious procedural irregularities committed by the determining Panel and also against the sanction of erasure.

What is useful to note from this case is the position as regards the admission of hearsay in disciplinary cases.

Reference was made to the case of R (on the application of Bonhoeffer) v GMC [2011] EWHC 1585 (Admin).

If the evidence is relevant and the Council have made reasonable effort to secure the attendance of he witness, or the witness has produced as in this case, medical evidence providing an adequate justification for not attending, then it is fair to admit it and such a decision will not easily be challenged.

Where a party seeks to bring fresh evidence before the court either in rebuttal of a witness’s testimony or evidence they will also need to show:

In accordance with the principles in Ladd and Marshall and in the light of the Civil Procedure Rules:

The evidence would, if admitted, have an important influence on the result of the case; it must be reasonably credible and presumed to be likely to be believed. It must also be shown that it could not with reasonable diligence have been obtained before trial.

 

The application in this case failed and the appeal was dismissed on the basis that the hearsay evidence had been admitted properly and the application to adduce fresh evidence on behalf of the appellant pharmacist failed to meet the relevant tests.