GDC Case Law

General Dental Council Case Law





The GDC regulates dentists and other dental registrants pursuant to the Dentists Act 1984. Case law develops over time as the courts interpret and apply the statutory law. Most cases are brought by way of appeal, judicial review, or part 8 CPR applications. Some case alw acts as precedent, which means that it will be relevant to other dentist or dental practitioner cases.

The cases below are useful in understanding how dental regulation works in some instances. There is other subordinate legislation to take into account as well. The cases below are a small sample.


Evidence Heard in Private (such as matters related to health) can be kept Private on Appeal

Williams v The General Dental Council (Rev1) [2022] EWHC 1380 (Admin) – the judge opens with a statement making it clear that health matters can remain confidential in High Court proceedings.

Sanctions for Lack of Indemnity Insurance

In Akhtar v General Dental Council (GDC) [2017] EWHC 1986 (Admin) the high court upheld a substantive suspension order of six months, where a doctor had practised without indemnity insurance for a period of years, and had been dishonest. The interim order imposed previously was held to have had little if any bearing on the length of sanction imposed. By way of contrast, in the case of Irvine v The General Medical Council [2017] EWHC 2038 (Admin) , this time a doctor appearing before the GMC, a sanction of erasure was upheld where the doctor had not had indemnity insurance for a number of years.

Appeal on Sanction and Facts

In Henning v General Dental Council [2022] EWHC 175 (Admin) the High Court dismissed an appeal from an orthodontist relating to a suspension imposed. Held: that there was no error on the part of the committee tasked with considering the case, and that the sanction was proprtionate and in the public interest.  (January 2022)

Retirement of a Practitioner is not a justification for no finding of impairment

General Optical Council v Clarke [2018] EWCA Civ 1463 – Para 31: “the fact that Mr Clarke was not intending to resume practice could be of little or no consequence.” (June 2018)

If you are registed with the GDC and require legal advice on bringing an appeal, call us for a no obligation discussion about what might be feasible.





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