UK & Europe
In IB v General Medical Council  CSIH 38 the Inner House (Scotland’s appeal court) considered the General Medical Council’s application for a doctor’s interim order of suspension to be extended beyond 18 months. The court gave helpful criteria for granting extension applications – at the same time as heavily criticising the approach taken at first instance.
The doctor represented himself. He is subject to a fitness to practise investigation for charges of terrorist activities. An interim suspension was placed on his registration on 26 October 2020. The doctor sought to challenge the extension.
At first instance the judge was satisfied that the order should be extended. The Inner House came to the same conclusion but was highly critical of the approach adopted. The court held that the correct approach was to apply the principles drawn from General Medical Council v Hiew  1 WLR 2007. These principles were not applied at first instance and instead the judge focused on whether the interim orders tribunal made the correct inquiries and were entitled to make the interim order in the first place. The court is to examine the matter as the primary decision maker applying the statutory test for an extension and considering the issue of proportionality.
The Lord Justice Clerk, Lady Dorrian (Scotland’s second most senior judge) then went on to apply the principles in Hiew to this case and concluded that:
While the Inner House got to the same conclusions as the judge at first instance, it reminded the lower court of the principles that must be applied in considering extensions to interim orders and the court’s role as a reviewer of the primary decision. Particularly in cases where the interim order is imposed on the grounds of public interest, the court must assess the matter afresh. Their role is not to rubber stamp the previous decision of the IOT.