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Eloise Power successfully appears in case that sets out the important principles governing the interpretation of regulatory documents

8th September 2021

Eloise Power appeared before Collins Rice J on behalf of the successful Respondent in Dad v General Dental Council [2021] EWHC 1376 (QB). Anthony Metzer QC and Heather Beckett appeared for the Appellant. The case set out some important principles governing the interpretation of regulatory documents.

The facts of the case concerned a dentist who had been erased from the Dentists’ Register after he had failed to declare a fraud investigation on an application form. The Appellant argued that there was no duty to declare the investigation in the first place and relied upon principles from the case law on statutory interpretation. The Court found that the difference between a statute and a regulatory application form was “one of kind, not degree”.

Crucially, the Court observed that there was “no absolute, abstract ‘ordinary and natural’ meaning of any piece of language taken in isolation. Context matters…” and “Relevance has to be considered on a case by case basis”.  In context, the Appellant was under a duty to declare the fraud investigation.

Please see the judgment here.

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