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Practice Notes of The Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal

7 December 1999


  1. THE TRIBUNAL wishes to confirm its existing procedures, and to GIVE NOTICE of the procedures which it intends to continue to follow in regard to the rights of affected persons provided pursuant to section 106 of the Medical Practitioners Act 1995. The following procedures will remain in place until further notice of the Tribunal.

  2. WHEN a Charge is received by the Tribunal, no information regarding the Charge or Charges, including the names of the parties, the complainant and any other person or persons affected by the Charge, will be disclosed by the Tribunal to any person other than members of the Tribunal and the Tribunal's administrative staff pending the receipt and determination of any applications made pursuant to section 106 of the Medical Practitioners Act 1995 (the Act).

  3. ACCORDINGLY, pursuant to section 106 of the Act, no information as to the identity of any person named in the Charge, or otherwise affected by the Charge, or any identifying details or other information may be disclosed by the Tribunal members or its staff to any member of the public or the news media pending the receipt and determination of any such application, without the prior written approval of the Chair of the Tribunal.

  4. ALL applications made under section 106 of the Act are to be submitted to the Tribunal strictly in accordance with any timetable set by the Tribunal and advised to the parties. Notice of the date by which such application must be received by the Tribunal will be given to the parties together with Notice of the Charge, and a Directions Checklist will also be issued for completion by the parties. The Directions Checklist is to be returned to the Tribunal by the stipulated date and must contain notice to the Tribunal as to whether or not the parties intend to seek any orders under section 106.

  5. ANY such timetable orders and any other pre-hearing Directions which are of a merely procedural nature may be made by any of the Chair, Senior Deputy Chair or Deputy Chair for and on behalf of the Tribunal.

  6. THE Tribunal will hear and determine applications made under section 106 of the Act as soon as reasonably practicable after an application is received.

  7. IN the event that NO application pursuant to section 106 is made by the date given to the parties by the Tribunal, and the Tribunal is not advised of any intention to seek such orders by the date advised for same, the names of the respondent and any other party, and/or the complainant/s may be disclosed, together with any other information relating to the Charge as the Tribunal shall consider appropriate, subject to the requirements of section 107 of the Act and Clause 5 of the First Schedule to the Act

  8. IN the event an application for any of the orders specified in section 106 (2) is declined the Tribunal hearing the application shall, on the application of any person made at the hearing of the application, make an interim order under section 106(2)(d) pending further order of a District Court Judge under section 120(2), or such other orders as may be made by a District Court in relation to any appeal.

  9. THIS Practice Note is made pursuant to sections 106 and 117 of the Act and clause 5 of the First Schedule thereto.


DATED at Auckland this 7th day of December 1999.

W N Brandon
Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal

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13 August 2001


THE TRIBUNAL wishes to GIVE NOTICE to all parties who may appear before it that it intends to apply the following Procedures in respect to evidence and submissions by video-link and telephone conference:

  1. ON an application by a party to the Tribunal, the Tribunal may, if satisfied that the necessary equipment and facilities are available, direct that a witness/s may give evidence from outside New Zealand or a person appearing as a barrister or solicitor, or both. may make submissions from outside New Zealand by video link or telephone conference in terms of the Procedures described in Schedule 1 to this practice note.

  2. AN application under subclause (1) may be made ex parte and shall be accompanied by an affidavit stating -
  1. The reasons for the proposed course of action:
  2. The nature of the evidence:
  3. The witness/s to be examined:
  4. In a case where evidence is proposed to be given, an estimate of the time the examination of the witness/s will take:
  5. Whether issues of character or credibility are likely to be raised:
  6. In a case where submissions are proposed to be made, an estimate of the time that will be required to make the submissions.
  1. IN giving a direction under subclause (1), the Tribunal shall instruct the Secretary to make appropriate arrangements in New Zealand and the relevant country in accordance with any particular directions which the Tribunal may make.


PROCEDURES to be followed for evidence to be taken by video-link:

  1. The evidence is to be taken outside of New Zealand by live two-way video-link between New Zealand and the appropriate country.
  2. The video conference system where evidence is to be given must be such as to allow a reasonable part of the interior of the room in which the witness/s is situated to be shown on the screen, yet retain sufficient proximity to depict the witness/s themselves.
  3. Each witness is to give their evidence either sitting at a plain desk or standing at a lectern.
  4. All written material or exhibits already discovered between the parties that the witness/s is to be referred to in the course of their evidence must be clearly identified; a paginated agreed bundle of documents is to be made available where the evidence is to be given and the exhibits are to be numbered for identification purposes.
  5. Unless otherwise agreed, normal Tribunal sitting times should be observed in the course of the witness/s' evidence with adjournments of 15 minutes in the morning and afternoon sessions, 1 hour for lunch together with such other adjournments as are acceptable to the Tribunal and the parties.
  6. If required in the circumstances of the case video-link facilities are to include a separate camera and monitor for documents.
  7. At all times during the course of the video conference the Tribunal may terminate the video conference if it is so unsatisfactory that it is unfair to any party to continue.
  8. The only persons present in the facility where evidence is to be given (other than the witness/s) are to be those operating the video and facsimile facilities and a person to assist with the implementation of any directions or requests given or made by the Tribunal hearing the evidence

Unless the Tribunal otherwise orders, the costs incurred in giving the evidence or making submissions by video-link or telephone conference and transmitting the evidence or submissions in accordance with this Practice Note shall be paid by the applicant.


DATED at Wellington this 13th day of August 2001

W N Brandon
Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal

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5 February 2004


THE TRIBUNAL wishes to GIVE NOTICE to all parties who may appear before it that as at 5 February 2004 it has adopted the High Court Code of Conduct for Expert Witnesses.


PROCEDURES to be followed when giving expert evidence to the Tribunal:

Duty to the Tribunal

  1. An expert witness has an overriding duty to assist the Tribunal impartially on relevant matters within the expert's area of expertise.
  2. An expert witness is not an advocate for the party who engages the witness.

Evidence of expert witness

  1. In any evidence given by an expert witness, the expert witness must
  1. acknowledge that the expert witness has read this Code of Conduct and agrees to comply with it.
  2. state the expert witness' qualifications as an expert.
  3. state the issues the evidence of the expert witness addresses and that the evidence is within the expert's area of expertise.
  4. state the facts and assumptions on which the opinions of the expert witness are based.
  5. state the reasons for the opinions given by the expert witness.
  6. specify any literature or other material used or relied on in support of the opinions expressed by the expert witness.
  7. describe any examinations, tests, or other investigations on which the expert witness has relied and identify, and give details of the qualifications of, any person who carried them out.
  1. If an expert witness believes that his or her evidence or any part of it may be incomplete or inaccurate without some qualification, that qualification must be stated in his or her evidence.
  2. If an expert witness believes that his or her opinion is not a concluded opinion because of insufficient research or data or for any other reason, this must be stated in his or her evidence.

Duty to confer

  1. An expert witness must comply with any direction of the Court to

    1. confer with another expert witness.
    2. try to reach agreement with the other expert witness on matters within the field of expertise of the expert witnesses.
    3. prepare and sign a joint witness statement stating the matters on which the expert witnesses agree and the matters on which they do not agree, including the reasons for their disagreement.

  2. In conferring with another expert witness, the expert witness must exercise independent and professional judgment and must not act on the instructions or directions of any person to withhold or avoid agreement.

DATED at Wellington this 5th day of February 2004

D B Collins, QC
Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal

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