Rules for the Fitness to Practise Committee and Subcommittees of the Fitness to Practise Committee 2020.

JurisdictionIreland
CitationIR SI 355/2020

Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in

“Iris Oifigiúil” of 22nd September, 2020.

Rules made by the Medical Council on 6th August 2020 under section 11 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 , as amended (the “Act”).

1. The Fitness to Practise Committee (“the Committee”) is established in accordance with the requirements of section 20 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 .

2. The Committee usually sits in subcommittees (“subcommittee”) of 3 members for the purposes of callovers and Inquiries under Part 8 of the Act. In each subcommittee, at least one member must be a Council member. The subcommittee must be composed of one medical practitioner, two persons who are not medical practitioners and the chairperson of the subcommittee shall be a member of the Medical Council. The Chairperson of the Committee, or such other member or members of the Committee as may be designated by the Chairperson, may establish subcommittees of the Committee.

3. All references to the “Committee” in these Rules shall be taken to include any “subcommittee” established under the Rules, unless otherwise stated.

4. Other words and phrases in these Rules shall have the meaning assigned to them in the Act. These Rules shall at all times be applied in a manner that is consistent with the Act.

A. Committee secretariat

5. The Committee shall be supported by a secretariat, composed of one or more Council staff that shall be responsible for administrative matters to support the functioning of the Committee. That secretariat shall operate independently of the office of the Chief Executive Officer (the “CEO”) who is responsible for the presentation of cases before the Committee.

B. Call over

6. The Committee shall convene for call overs at regular intervals to case manage matters referred to it pursuant to Part 7 of the Act. All registered medical practitioners or their legal representatives who have matters pending Inquiry before the Committee are invited to attend such call overs.

(a) In advance of a call over

(i) A letter of invitation to the call over, usually issued by the CEO’s solicitors, will inform the registered medical practitioner or his/her legal representatives of the date and time of the call over. The letter will request the registered medical practitioner or his/her legal representatives to inform the CEO’s solicitors of any applications that he/she wishes to make to the Committee at a call over by a specified date. The CEO’s representatives will endeavour to provide the registered medical practitioner/their legal representatives with notice of any application(s) that the CEO intends to bring to the attention of the Committee at a callover at least 7 days in advance of the callover.

(ii) Registered medical practitioners or their legal representatives may, subject to any direction by the Committee, attend in person, by phone link or by video link. Alternatively, registered medical practitioners or their legal representatives may set out in writing in advance of the call over any applications they wish to make. Such written applications should be furnished to the CEO’s solicitors pursuant to the time line set out in correspondence from the CEO. The CEO will then ensure that any applications are considered by the Committee at the call over.

(iii) The CEO will arrange to furnish a brief to the Committee in advance of the call over containing relevant correspondence and documentation to be considered by the Committee. This allows the Committee to brief themselves on any applications in advance of the call over.

(iv) Each case is usually considered in private before Committee at the call over.

(v) As soon as is practicable following the conclusion of the call over, the secretariat will furnish the registered medical practitioner or his/her representatives with a transcript of the call over in so far as his/her case is concerned.

(b) Call over applications

(i) Call overs facilitate effective and efficient case management of the cases referred to the Committee. The Committee may direct that specific timelines be complied with in order to ensure that a case is ready for hearing. In particular, the following matters can be considered by the Committee:

(c) Applications for adjournments.

(i) If an application for an adjournment is to be made at a call over, it should be brought to the attention of the CEO’s solicitors at the earliest opportunity. The Committee will hear submissions from the registered medical practitioner or his/her legal representatives and the CEO in relation to such applications. Without prejudice to any decision by the Committee, the Committee requests that both sides endeavour to identify alternative suitable hearing dates in advance of any such application.

(d) Other interlocutory applications e.g. Production Summons / Directions / Witness Summons.

(i) The CEO or the registered medical practitioner/his/her legal representatives may bring to the attention of the Committee an application for a Production Summons, a Direction for medical records or a Witness Summons. The CEO or the registered medical practitioner/his/her legal representatives may invite relevant parties to attend the call over to make submissions to the Committee in relation to such applications. In the event that there is failure to comply with a Summons or a Direction issued by the Committee, then such a breach should be brought to the attention of the Committee at the earliest possible opportunity.

(e) Applications for an Inquiry to be held otherwise than in public.

(i) The Committee will consider applications from witnesses or registered medical practitioners who apply for some or all of an Inquiry to be held otherwise than in public. The Committee will consider, pursuant to the Act, whether it is satisfied that it would be appropriate in the circumstances to hold the hearing or part of the hearing otherwise than in public, as provided in the Act. Such applications will be notified to the registered medical practitioner or CEO as the case may be, in advance of the call over.

(f) Applications pursuant to section 67 of the Act.

(g) Such further or other applications as the Committee may deem appropriate to be dealt with at a callover.

C. Applications other than at call overs

7. In circumstances where an application is required to be made to the Committee in advance of a call over, the applicant is requested to notify the other party (be it the CEO or the registered medical practitioner) to the Inquiry. The Committee’s secretariat will identify a suitable date and time (generally on a date fixed in respect of another Inquiry) for such an application to be considered by the Committee. The Committee should be notified in advance by the secretariat of the date and time on which such application will be made.

8. Where an...

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