Guy Micklewright was instructed on behalf of the Health and Care Professions Council (“HCPC”) in an appeal against a decision of the Conduct and Competence Committee (“CCC”) of the HCPC imposing conditions on his registration following a 33-day hearing.
The appellant sought to appeal the findings of the CCC on the grounds that:
- the CCC has no jurisdiction to hear the case;
- the proceedings were time-barred;
- the CCC incorrectly applied the standard of proof;
- the CCC’s findings of fact were flawed and wrong;
- the CCC erred in relying on the findings of fact made by an Industrial Tribunal in Northern Ireland;
- the CCC wrongly refused to summon a defence witness;
- the CCC failed to recuse itself in light of the political views of one of the panel members;
- there was a failure to conduct a fair investigation;
- the CCC wrongly rejected the appellant’s application of no case to answer;
- the CCC wrongly found misconduct and impairment.
The HCPC applied to strike out the appeal on the basis that the appellant had failed to file the appeal notice within the 28 day appeal time limit. The appellant was, at the time of the appeal, resident in Gibraltar and in Germany. He had sought to file his appeal twice before the time limit expired but the Court refused to accept the filing of the appeal notice on the basis that the appellant had not filed an application for permission to file an appeal without a UK service address, instead providing a Gibraltar service address and an email address.
The Issues to be decided
The issues for the Court were whether, for the purposes of service under the Civil Procedure Rules, a Gibraltar address counts as part of the UK; and whether the appellant could be said to have done all he possibly could to bring his appeal in time; and whether the written agreement of the HCPC prior to the appellant eventually filing his appeal properly meant that he was entitled to have his appeal heard out of time.
Guy successfully argued the following points, which led to the appeal being dismissed:
- on a proper interpretation, that there is no provision in the CPR or in any of the other legislation referred to in argument by the appellant, that treats Gibraltar as being in the UK for the purposes of Part 6 of the CPR;
- that, being a statutory appeal where the legislation provides no power to the Court to extend the appeal period save where it would be an unlawful interference with Art 6 ECHR, even a written agreement by the HCPC that it would not take issue with the late filing could not provide the Court with jurisdiction to hear the appeal;
- and because he had been informed in email correspondence by the Court that he needed to file an application for permission to file without a UK service address, and did not do so, the appellant had not done all he could do to bring his appeal in time.
Guy Micklewright is a specialist fitness to practise, disciplinary and regulatory barrister, having practised in the area for 14 years, acting for both regulators and registrants. Guy has particular experience of complex disciplinary cases before a variety of healthcare, accountancy, legal, and engineering regulators. He is ranked as a 'Rising Star' in The Legal 500 [2020 and 2021] for his professional discipline and regulatory work (Solicitors Guide).
Guy's practice includes governance advisory work, GDPR advisory work, inquests and firearms/shotgun licensing appeals, and advisory work.