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SRA update

Conflicting signals seem to be emerging from the High Court on the question of interfering with the decision of the SDT. Hot on the heels of  SRA v Chan Ali and Abode where the tribunal decision was overturned as it was ‘plainly wrong’ comes the decision in Benyu v SRA which reaffirmed the old view that the correct approach on appeal was to treat the hearing as a review and not a rehearing. An appeal would be allowed only if the decision was unjust or wrong or there was a procedural error. √جª¬ø



In Benyu v SRA, 20th November 2015, which is unreported, Carr J pointed out that the SDT had had the advantage of hearing evidence from live witnesses and the court should be slow to interfere with decisions on facts taken by the first instance body.

The court chose to follow Bhatt v GMC and the Divisional Court in Newfield v Law Society, [2005] EWHC 765 (Admin), where Steel J said,

‘In my judgment a professional disciplinary tribunal still remains the body best fitted to assess the seriousness of professional misconduct and an appellate court should be slow, save in a clear case, to interfere in the sentence of the relevant Tribunal.’√جª¬ø

Although this observation seems to fall into the trap of describing sanction as a ‘sentence’ which is retributive rather than regulatory, the decision was supported by La

ws LJ who has given a number of definitive decisions in this arena, including the case of Fatnani & Raschid v General Medical Council [2007] EWCA Civ 46 where he supported the independence of the panel saying,

‘It is clear that the overriding principles are the preservation of public confidence in the profession and the need to give a special place to the judgment of the specialist panel’.√جª¬ø

This seems to row in the opposite direction to the recent decision in SRA v Chan, Ali and Abodesee blog article 30th September 2015.  






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