The court stated obiter that in considering issues of dishonesty in fitness to practise cases, the General Medical Council had to take care in applying the Ghosh test of dishonesty, which was devised in a criminal law context, as it was clear that the standard of proof in the context of fitness to practise cases was the civil and not the criminal standard.
HELD: (1) The panel’s findings of dishonesty were flawed and could not stand. The matter would be submitted to a fresh panel for reconsideration, Bhatt v General Medical Council  EWHC 783 (Admin) and Southall v General Medical Council  EWCA Civ 407,  2 F.L.R. 1550 considered. (2) (Obiter) In future, in considering issues of dishonesty, the GMC had to take care in applying the test in Ghosh, which was devised in the criminal law context, as it was clear that the standard of proof in the instant context was the civil and not the criminal standard. Even in the criminal context, it was not the general practice to give a Ghosh direction in all cases and the advice given by the Judicial College to Crown Court judges was that no direction was required on the meaning of dishonesty and a Ghosh direction was given where an issue was raised as to whether a relevant charge was dishonest by the standards of ordinary people. The real issue was whether the conduct took place and whether it was known that it was false or that it was innocent or negligent.
William Meade (Senior Clerk)