0370 270 6000

Hearsay evidence

23 June 2011

A paediatric cardiologist facing allegations of sexual abuse has been successful in stopping the General Medical Council using hearsay evidence in disciplinary proceedings. The allegations relate to when he worked in Kenya. A key witness lived in Kenya, and while he was willing to travel to the disciplinary hearings, the GMC decided that the risk to the individual flowing from public exposure in homosexual activity outweighed the benefit of his personal attendance.

The High Court felt this decision was irrational. The stakes could not be higher for the cardiologist, both personally and professionally, and it was essential that he was given the opportunity to cross-examine the witness.

This decision is likely to be very influential in future disciplinary proceedings. It shows that in cases where sexual abuse is alleged, it is very important to allow the alleged perpetrator to challenge the allegations. While disciplinary proceedings tend not to have the formality or consequences of court action, nevertheless similar procedural safeguards must apply.

Related opinions

Long covid and whether this amounts to a disability

The recent Employment Tribunal decision in Mr T Burke v Turning Point Scotland, Case no.4112457/2021 found that long-Covid amounts to a disability.

View blog

Bill to establish an “Office of the Whistleblower”

Baroness Kramer has now introduced the Protection of Whistleblowing Bill as a Private Members’ Bill, starting in the House of Lords.

View blog

New mothers suffer a cumulative loss of income of £66,434 over the following decade

Independent think-tank, the Social Market Foundation (“SMF”), has launched a cross-party parliamentary commission on childcare and its implications for mothers.

View blog

New rules for Fit Notes

Where employees are absent from work due to sickness for more than 7 days, they need to provide reasonable medical evidence in respect of that absence for statutory sick pay purposes – this is most frequently satisfied through the provision of a Statement of Fitness for Work, otherwise known as a Fit Note.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up