Role of the Regulator
THE ROLE OF THE REGULATOR AND PROSECUTING BODY IN PROFESSIONAL DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS
INVESTIGATING THE COMPLAINT
1.1 In Meadow v. General Medical Council  1 All ER 1 the Court of Appeal (Sir Anthony Clarke MR, Lord Justice Auld, and Lord Justice Thorpe) reaffirmed the principle that the role of regulatory and disciplinary bodies, and boards set up under the Royal Prerogative, is to investigate the profession or occupation concerned for the benefit of the public. The regulator should not be prevented from using its statutory powers when it judged it to be necessary, and doctors and other professionals have no immunity from action in respect of professional disciplinary proceedings commenced by a regulator.
1.2 The case arose out of evidence given by Professor Sir Roy Meadow in the prosecution of the late Sally Clark. In November 1999 Mrs Clark was tried for the murder of her two sons and the Crown relied upon Professor Meadow’s evidence to refute the proposition that Mrs Clark’s children may have died from sudden infant death syndrome, or cot death. Following her second appeal which was allowed in January 2003 Mrs Clark’s father made a complaint to the General Medical Council alleging serious professional misconduct on the part of Professor Meadow which was upheld by a fitness to practise panel. The fitness to practise panel’s finding of impairment was quashed by the High Court and the GMC’s appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.
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