The Court of Appeal decision in Kulkarni v Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Trust provides authority that doctors have the right to legal representation at disciplinary hearings where the doctor concerned is facing charges of misconduct or capability.  

The ruling also indicates that an individual has a free-standing right to legal representation at internal disciplinary hearings under Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights when the allegations are so serious that, if established, the individual would no longer be able to carry out their job.  

Although the Court of Appeal has not ruled definitively on a general right of representation at disciplinary hearings, this decision may have a wider impact on employees in public sector roles facing potentially career threatening disciplinary action