Watkins v British Medical Association: [2023] EAT 23

Appeal against decisions of the BMA Certification Officer to refuse the appellant the chance to amend claims and extend time for an appeal.

These appeals arose from the appellant's actions following the election of a new Deputy Chair, including posting on a listserver claims that the new Deputy Chair had been elected to prevent another candidate from being elected. He was suspended from all BMA committees and prevented from posting but submitted a list of complaints against the handling of his suspension which were unsuccessful. as was an earlier appeal in the EAT. The appellant then sought to submit amended complaints but the Certification Officer refused largely because the complaints had already been heard by the EAT and she had no power to so.

In this judgment HHJ Tayler rejects the appellant's arguments, citing Sumption JSC in Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd v Zodiac Seats UK Ltd on the principle of res judicata. He goes on to conclude that the amendments do not appear to raise significantly different grounds, and, even if they did, those grounds could and should have been raised in the original complaint to the Certification Officer. Furthermore the CO had no power to amend and one of the appeals was an abuse of process as the complaints have been finally determined in the earlier EAT judgment, so even if time was extended the appeal would be bound to fail.


Published: 06/03/2023 15:57

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