Fair Procedures in Fitness to Practice Inquiries | PRDBA Conference 2023

28 November 2023

The Professional, Regulatory, and Disciplinary Bar Association of Ireland (PRDBA) is proud to announce its highly anticipated Annual Conference, set to take place on December 8, 2023 in the in the Gaffney Room, Distillery Building, Dublin 7. The conference, which will take place from 1:30 pm to 5:30, will center on the essential subject of “Ensuring Fair Procedures in Fitness to Practice Inquiries.”

This years conference will be chaired by The Honourable Mr Justice David Barniville, esteemed President of the High Court, lending his expertise to guide discussions on essential aspects of fair procedures within fitness to practice inquiries. The PRDBA Annual Conference serves as an invaluable platform for legal practitioners, regulatory professionals, and experts in disciplinary inquiries to engage in discussions, share knowledge, and explore solutions regarding fair and just procedures in professional practice inquiries.

The Professional, Regulatory, and Disciplinary Bar Association of Ireland will hear from

  • Tom Hogan SC: A prominent legal figure known for his expertise in regulatory matters, Mr. Hogan will share valuable insights into the fair application of procedures within fitness to practice inquiries. Tom will present his paper on the topic “Hearsay Evidence – Admissibility and Weight in Fitness to Practice Inquiries.”
  • Shane Murphy SC: Shane has a broad practice spanning Constitutional, Commercial, Administrative, Public, Regulatory, Environmental, Planning, Judicial Review and general Civil Litigation. He has acted in numerous investigations and statutory inquiries and has both prosecuted and defended in criminal trials. Shane will deliver a presentation Fair procedures – separate hearings / Two men and a Bear”.
  • Neasa Bird BL: Neasa has extensive experience in public and regulatory law and has presented professional conduct and fitness to practice inquiries before various regulators including the Medical Council and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. Neasa will present her paper Hearing in the Absence of a Registrant: when is it fair to proceed?”
  • Louise Beirne BL: Louise has a general civil practice, with a particular focus on public and regulatory law. She will speak on the topic of delay. Louise will deliver on her presentation titled The Sword of Damocles: Delay – A danger to be avoided by Regulators (and Registrants) in Fitness to Practise Proceedings”.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Chair of PRDBA Frank Beatty SC said,

Fair procedures are central to every fitness to practice inquiry across the regulated professions.  As such, the topics covered feature in every inquiry, and engage every stakeholder.  The Annual Conference will explore common issues that arise in an inquiry including the rules of evidence, and hearsay, the issue of delay and proceeding with an inquiry where the registrant himself or herself is absent from the inquiry process or hearing. 

The Annual Conference is an opportunity for practitioners to learn about these different areas. and will enable those involved in regulatory disciplinary hearings to collaborate their collective understanding of the different topics and issues.

Attendance is open to PRDBA members, members of The Bar of Ireland and all other interested persons. A drinks reception will follow the conference at The Sheds bar, Distillery Building.

The Professional, Regulatory & Disciplinary Bar Association (PRDBA) is a specialist bar association for Irish barristers who practice before professional regulatory tribunals (such as the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and the Fitness to Practise Committee of the Medical Council) and who are interested in professional regulatory and disciplinary law. For further information, please go to www.PRDBA.ie

PRDBA membership is open to members of the Law Library, solicitors and professionals with an interest or expertise in probate/succession law. Register here and become a member today!