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Regulating Tragic Error: Learning from the Bawa-Garba Experience

  • Room 109, Melbourne Law School 185 Pelham Street Carlton, VIC, 3053 Australia (map)

Presented by Professor Ian Freckelton of Melbourne Law School.

After the seminar audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions, and refreshments will be served.

Please register your attendance here


Professor Ian Freckelton QC will consider the case of junior paediatrician Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, which shook the medical community after she was stripped of her medical registration following the death of a six-year-old boy under her care.

Bawa-Garba was convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence and suspended from practice. In January this year, Britain’s General Medical Council successfully appealed to the High Court, and she was erased from the medical register.  

The decision has been highly controversial, with many raising concerns that the Court failed to take into account the pressures and systemic failings faced by NHS staff. Some have also pointed out the significant implications this outcome may have on the medical profession and the law of medical negligence.

Professor Ian Freckelton is a Queen’s Counsel at the Victorian Bar and a judge of the Supreme Court of Nauru. At the University of Melbourne he is a Professorial Fellow in Law and Psychiatry, and a Co-Director of the Health and Medical Law program. He is the Editor of the Journal of Law and Medicine, Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law and author of the 2017 book Tensions and Traumas in Health Law.

In 2015, Professor Freckelton was appointed a Commissioner at the Victorian Law Reform Commission to run its reference on medicinal cannabis. He is also a member of the Coronial Council of Victoria and of the Mental Health Tribunal.  He holds a “higher doctorate” (an LLD) from the University of Melbourne. In 2017, he led the legal team in the major human rights case into the children detained at Barwon Prison and is currently undertaking an independent investigation into the conduct of former Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.

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