News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

GMC appeals against extending immunity for expert witnesses

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 09 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:568
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    The General Medical Council is seeking permission to appeal against a High Court ruling last month giving expert witnesses immunity from disciplinary proceedings over evidence given in court.

    The unexpected judgment by Mr Justice Collins in an appeal by the retired paediatrician Roy Meadow bars regulators from taking action against expert witnesses unless the complaint is initiated by a judge.

    Witness immunity is a longstanding legal principle that protects witnesses in court cases from being sued for damages over anything they say in court. The policy behind the rule is to encourage witnesses to give their evidence freely in the interests of justice. …

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