Chief Justice writes to judiciary regards to doctors giving testimony in court. - 29/7/2003

Following representations by both MAM and the health division to the authorities in the administration of justice, Chief justice Hon. Dr Degaetano has made these recommendations to the judiciary. His honour expressed the opinion that these arrangements would reduce the inconvenience to the doctor and especially to the patients under his care.

1. On arrival in court medical practitioners should immediately inform the deputy registrar of courts or his delegate, so that the doctor’s testimony is heard as early as possible in the hearing of the case.

2. If a doctor is unable to attend for a sitting the court has to be officially informed (rikors) by not later than two working days before the hearing. Doctors are advised to annex the exact address where they can be contacted, so that the decision of the court can be communicated to the doctor. If this procedure is not followed – doctors become liable according to the law.

3. The judiciary with the co-operation of the police should inform doctors in good time if hearings are cancelled and put off to later dates.

4. The judiciary should notify doctors in good time before a hearing so that the doctor can make the necessary alternative arrangements with regard to the care of his patients.

5. Mandatory arrest for testimony on the same day should be reserved only for cases when doctors fail to notify the court in advance of their abscene without giving reason.

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