In was held by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in the case of Ahari v Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull Hospitals NHS Trust that evidence given to the General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Panel (GMC Panel) attracts the protection of absolute witness immunity and therefore cannot be an act of discrimination.
In this case the trust argued that Dr Ahari’s claim of race discrimination was out of time and Dr Ahari sought to argue that the evidence given by the trust’s clinical director to the GMC Panel amounted to an act of continuing race discrimination and therefore his claim was in time. However, it was held that the GMC Panel is a quasi-judicial body and therefore evidence given by witnesses to the GMC Panel attracted the protection of absolute witness immunity. The result of this is that evidence given by witnesses to the GMC Panel cannot then be relied upon as an act of discrimination in a subsequent employment tribunal claim.
The EAT judgment can be accessed here.