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Court of Appeal sets aside Tribunal finding of improper conduct

02 Feb 2015

Dr Leila Dekker - appeal allowed.

The WA Court of Appeal has set aside a WA State Administrative Tribunal’s finding that Dr Leila Dekker was guilty of improper conduct.

The former Medical Board of Western Australia referred Dr Dekker to the tribunal in 2006, about an incident in 2002 in which Dr Dekker had not stopped to check the passengers in a vehicle with which her car nearly collided. The other vehicle passed behind her, crossed a dirt road, crossed an embankment and ended up in a ditch. Following the ‘near miss’, Dr Dekker left the scene of the incident and immediately drove to a nearby police station to report the incident.

The Board alleged that a registered medical practitioner could reasonably have been expected to render assistance, or first aid, at the scene to those in need. The tribunal heard the matter in October 2013.

In November 2013, the tribunal found that Dr Dekker had engaged in improper conduct by failing to assess and assist the passengers in the other vehicle, when she was aware that people had or may have been injured. Dr Dekker appealed the tribunal’s decision before it had considered a penalty.

After hearing Dr Dekker’s appeal, the Court of Appeal set aside the tribunal’s decision and dismissed the Board’s application (in the tribunal) due to a lack of evidence. It also found that it would not be appropriate to return the matter to the tribunal.

The reasons for the decision are on the AustLII website.

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Page reviewed 2/02/2015