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Tribunal’s power to reopen proceedings

An investigating committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) concluded that there was no realistic prospect of a finding of impairment of fitness to practise against a nurse. Following further information the NMC asked the Committee to review its decision on various grounds. When the committee agreed to do so the nurse appealed to the High Court.
Holding that a tribunal does not have a power analogous to that of the High Court to re-open its proceedings, beyond the limited power "to correct accidental errors which do not substantially affect the rights of the parties or the decision arrived at", Mrs Justice Lang reversed the decision of the NMC to rescind and reverse the decision of the Investigation Committee.
The learned Justice also held that the NMC's decision was an unlawful breach of the Claimant's substantive legitimate expectation that she had no case to answer in relation to these allegations and that it would be disproportionate and unfair for the NMC to resile from it. Furthermore, by departing from its established and published procedures the NMC breached the Claimant's procedural legitimate expectation, and acted unfairly towards her.
B, R (on the application of) v The Nursing and Midwifery Council [2012] EWHC 1264 (Admin)

(Akewushola v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2000] 1 WLR 2295 followed. R (on the application of Jenkinson) v. The Nursing and Midwifery Council [2009] EWHC 1111 (Admin) not followed.)


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