Subdivision 4 Inquiries before Committees [NSW]
171 Committee to hold inquiry into complaint [NSW]
(1) A Committee must hold an inquiry into a complaint about a relevant
health practitioner that is referred to it.
(2) No inquiry need be held into the complaint if the relevant health
practitioner admits the subject-matter of the complaint in writing to the
(3) On appointment, the Chairperson of the Committee must fix a time
and place for the holding of an inquiry by the Committee into the
(4) The Chairperson must give not less than 14 days’ notice of
the inquiry to—
(a) the relevant health practitioner; and
(b) the complainant, if any; and
(d) the Council for the health profession in which the practitioner is
(e) the Commission.
171A Procedure for inquiry [NSW]
(1) Subject to this section, the Committee may conduct proceedings on
the inquiry as it thinks fit.
(2) Proceedings of the Committee are to be open to the public unless
the Committee directs otherwise.
(3) The Committee is not to direct that proceedings are to be closed
to the public unless satisfied it is desirable to do so in the public interest
(a) the subject-matter of the inquiry; or
(b) the nature of the evidence to be given.
(4) The Committee may be assisted by an Australian lawyer appointed,
at the request of the Committee, by the Executive Officer of the
171B Representation at inquiry [NSW]
(1) At the inquiry held by the Committee, the relevant health
practitioner and any complainant are entitled to attend and to be represented
(a) an Australian legal practitioner; or
(b) with the leave of the Chairperson of the Committee, another
(2) Subsection (1) does not prevent the Committee from addressing
questions directly to the relevant health
(3) The Committee may grant leave for any other person to appear at
the inquiry if the Committee is satisfied it is appropriate for the person to
(4) This section does not prevent the Committee from proceeding in the
absence of the relevant health practitioner or the complainant, if the
practitioner or complainant has been given notice of the
171C Adjournments and interlocutory orders [NSW]
(1) The Committee may adjourn proceedings for any reason it thinks
(2) The Committee may, during any proceedings, exercise any power or
combination of powers conferred on a Committee by section 146B, except the
power to caution or reprimand.
171D Committee must refer certain matters to Tribunal
(1) The Committee must immediately terminate the inquiry if, before or
during the inquiry, the Committee—
(a) forms the opinion the complaint, if substantiated, may provide
grounds for the suspension or cancellation of the registration of the relevant
health practitioner; or
(b) becomes aware the Council or the Commission has referred the
complaint or another complaint about the practitioner to the
(2) Subsection (1)(a) does not apply to a complaint that the Council
decided not to refer to the Tribunal because the allegations on which it, and
any other pending complaint against the practitioner, was founded related
solely or principally to the practitioner’s physical or mental capacity
to practise the practitioner’s profession.
(3) If the Committee terminates an inquiry, it must refer the
complaint to the Tribunal unless it has already been referred to the
(4) The Tribunal to which the complaint is referred may be the
Tribunal as already constituted to deal with another complaint or the Tribunal
as constituted to deal with the referred complaint.
(5) The Committee must inform the Council when it takes any action
under this section.
171E Committee to provide details of decision
(1) The Committee must give a written statement of its decision on the
inquiry to the following within one month after the decision is
(a) the complainant;
(b) the relevant health practitioner;
(c) the Council.
(2) The statement of decision must—
(a) set out any findings on material questions of fact;
(b) refer to any evidence or other material on which the findings were
(c) give reasons for the decision.
(3) The Committee may also give the statement of decision to any other
person the Committee thinks fit.
(4) The Council—
(a) must make publicly available the statement of decision if the
decision is in respect of a complaint that has been proved or admitted in
whole or in part; and
(b) may disseminate any other statement of decision as the Council
(5) Subsection (4) does not apply if the Committee has ordered that
the statement is not to be made publicly available.
171F Statement need not contain confidential information
(1) A Committee is not required to include confidential information in
a statement of a decision given to a person.
(2) If the statement would be false or misleading if it did not
include the confidential information, the Committee is not required to provide
(3) If confidential information is not included in the statement of a
decision given to a person, or a statement is not given to a person because of
subsection (2), the Committee must give the person a confidential information
(4) A confidential information notice must be given within one month
of the decision.
(5) This section does not affect the power of a court to make an order
for the discovery of documents or to require the giving of evidence or the
production of documents to a court, subject to the provisions of this Law
relating to protected reports.