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News: Society wins preregistration appeal

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The Pharmaceutical Journal Vol 267 No 7159 p139-143
4 August 2001

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Society wins preregistration appeal

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has successfully defended in the Court of Appeal its power to restrict the number of attempts preregistration trainees can make to pass the registration examination.

In a judgement handed down on 31 July, Lords Justice Kennedy, Chadwick and Rix ruled that the Society had power to make byelaws requiring applicants to pass a registration examination within three attemps and that the byelaw was reasonable and not discriminatory. However, there was little consensus among the judges on where the byelaw-making power had its roots.

Lord Justice Kennedy ruled that the power derived from the Society’s 1953 Royal Charter and not from the examination provisions of the Pharmacy Act 1954. Lord Justice Chadwick ruled that the power came from the Act and not the Charter. Lord Justice Rix ruled that the byelaw making power came from the Royal Charter unconstrained by the Act.

The appeal judges upheld a judicial review ruling that the Society could restrict the number of attempts candidates take to pass registration examination (PJ, 5 August 2000). They did not support the review judge’s reasoning.

Permission to appeal to the House of Lords was refused.

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