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The General Pharmaceutical Council (Statutory Committees and their Advisers Rules) Order of Council 2010

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PART 6Advisers and their Advice

Functions of legal advisers

21.—(1) A legal adviser—

(a)must be present at all meetings of the Investigating Committee at which a decision is to be taken as to whether or not to—

(i)refer a case to the Fitness to Practise Committee, or

(ii)notify the Registrar that the Council should consider exercising any of its powers to bring criminal proceedings;

(b)may be present at any other hearing before, or meeting of, a statutory committee, at the request of the chair or secretary of that statutory committee; and

(c)may be present at any other meeting of, or hearing before, a committee of the Council which is not a statutory committee, at the request of the Registrar.

(2) The function of the legal adviser who is present at a meeting or hearing referred to in paragraph (1)(a) or (b) is to ensure that proceedings before the statutory committee are conducted fairly.

(3) The legal adviser who is present at a meeting or hearing referred to in paragraph (1) must—

(a)advise the committee on questions of law that are referred to the legal adviser by members of the committee;

(b)intervene to advise the committee on an issue of law where it appears to the legal adviser that, without the legal adviser’s intervention, there is a possibility of an error of law being made;

(c)inform the committee immediately of any irregularity in the conduct of proceedings before it; and

(d)at the request of the chair, advise the committee on the structure, format and presentation of the reasons for a decision of that committee.

(4) If the chair of—

(a)the Fitness to Practise Committee; or

(b)the Appeals Committee,

is not legally qualified, a legal adviser must be present at a case management meeting of that Committee conducted by the chair of that Committee.

(5) At the request of the chair, the legal adviser who is present at a meeting or hearing of a committee referred to in paragraph (1) may be present during the private deliberations of a committee, but must not participate in the decision making of the committee (and is not entitled to vote).

Functions of clinical advisers

22.—(1) A clinical adviser—

(a)must be present at any meeting of the Investigating Committee at which a decision is to be taken as to whether or not to refer a case to the Fitness to Practise Committee where the health of the person who is the subject of the case is to be, or is likely to be, considered;

(b)may be present at any other meeting of the Investigating Committee where health related issues are to be, or are likely to be, considered;

(c)must be present at any meeting of, or hearing before, the Fitness to Practise Committee where health related issues are to be, or are likely to be, considered;

(d)may be present at any meeting of, or hearing before, the Appeals Committee at which health related issues are to be, or are likely to be, considered; and

(e)may be present at any meeting of, or hearing before, a committee of the Council which is not a statutory committee at which health related issues are to be, or are likely to be, considered by that committee.

(2) The function of the clinical adviser who is present at a meeting or hearing referred to in paragraph (1) is to—

(a)advise the committee on any issues within the clinical adviser’s areas of medical expertise that may be referred to the clinical adviser by a member of that committee; and

(b)intervene to advise the committee on an issue where it appears to the clinical adviser that, without the clinical adviser’s intervention, there is a possibility of an error being made.

(3) A clinical adviser who is present at a meeting or hearing referred to in paragraph (1)(c) or (d) must not be present during the private deliberations of the committee.

(4) A clinical adviser must not participate in the decision making of any committee (and is not entitled to vote).

Functions of specialist advisers

23.—(1) A specialist adviser—

(a)may be present at any meeting of the Investigating Committee at which issues falling within the specialist adviser’s specialty, or related to it, are under consideration by the Committee;

(b)may be present at any meeting of, or hearing before, the Fitness to Practise Committee at which issues falling within the specialist adviser’s specialty, or related to it, are under consideration by the Committee;

(c)may be present at any meeting of, or hearing before, the Appeals Committee at which issues falling within the specialist adviser’s specialty, or related to it, are under consideration by the Committee; and

(d)may be present at any meeting of, or hearing before, a committee of the Council which is not a statutory committee at which issues falling within the specialist adviser’s specialty, or related to it, are under consideration by that committee.

(2) The function of a specialist adviser at a meeting or hearing referred to in paragraph (1) is to advise the committee on issues within the specialist adviser’s areas of expertise that may be referred to the specialist adviser by a member of that committee.

(3) A specialist adviser who is present at a meeting or hearing referred to in paragraph (1)(b) or (c) must not be present during the private deliberations of the committee.

(4) A specialist adviser must not participate in the decision making of any committee (and is not entitled to vote).

Requirement to give or repeat advice in public

24.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), any advice tendered by a legal, clinical or specialist adviser at a meeting or hearing must be tendered in the presence of every party, or person representing a party, in attendance at the meeting or hearing.

(2) The requirement in paragraph (1) does not apply to meetings of the Investigating Committee.

(3) Where a statutory committee, or another committee of the Council which is not a statutory committee, has begun to deliberate on its decision and needs to obtain advice in the course of its deliberations, a legal adviser may tender advice to the committee notwithstanding the absence of the parties or any person representing a party.

(4) Where advice is tendered in the absence of the parties or their representatives in accordance with paragraph (3)—

(a)the legal adviser must repeat the advice tendered to the committee before the parties, or any person representing a party, in attendance at the hearing; and

(b)the parties or their representatives in attendance at the hearing must be provided with a reasonable opportunity to comment on the advice given by the legal adviser, before the committee makes its decision on the issue under consideration.

Requirement to keep records of advice and interventions

25.—(1) The secretary to a statutory committee must keep a record of any advice tendered to the committee by the legal, clinical or specialist adviser to that committee.

(2) The secretary to a statutory committee must keep a record of any interventions made by the legal adviser during the private deliberations of that committee.

(3) A record of any advice tendered by the legal, clinical or specialist adviser must be sent to the parties to the proceedings (that is, the Council and the appellant or person concerned, as the case may be) or their representatives, as appropriate, as soon as practicable after it has been tendered.

Refusal by a statutory committee to accept advice

26.  Where any advice tendered by the legal, clinical or specialist adviser to a statutory committee is not accepted by that committee—

(a)the chair of the committee must announce the reasons for not accepting the advice tendered; and

(b)the secretary to the committee must—

(i)keep a record of the advice tendered, and the reasons why the committee refused to accept that advice, and

(ii)send a copy of the record of the advice tendered and the reasons why the committee refused to accept that advice, to the parties to the proceedings (that is, the Council and the appellant or person concerned, as the case may be) or their representatives, as appropriate.

Questioning of witnesses

27.  A legal, clinical or specialist adviser advising a committee in accordance with these Rules may, with the permission of the chair of that committee, question any witnesses appearing before the committee.

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