Date Published: 13 October 2008
HFEA Statement on Consent Order
"On 19th July 2007, the HFEA´s Licence Committee determined that Mr Taranissi had failed to discharge his duties as a "person responsible" under Section 17 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 and were no longer satisfied that he was of the required character to supervise licensed activities at the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre ("ARGC").
Mr Taranissi appealed that decision, and also applied to the Court to have the decision judicially reviewed. Mr Taranissi´s application for judicial review was initially refused by the Court. However, at a subsequent hearing on 3rd July 2008, the Court granted permission for Mr Taranissi to proceed with his application.
The HFEA rejects any accusation that the members of the Licence Committee which made the decision in July 2007 were biased against Mr Taranissi in any way. However, as a public body, it is important that those subject to the jurisdiction of the HFEA have full confidence in the proceedings which the HFEA operates. As a public body, the HFEA also has to ensure that that public money is properly used. Ultimately, a decision as to whether Mr Taranissi is suitable to act as a "person responsible" is a decision which should be decided by the Authority´s Licence Committee, rather than by the Court.
The HFEA and Mr Taranissi have therefore agreed to dispose of the judicial review proceedings by way of a Consent Order. The effect of the Consent Order is that the decision taken by the Licence Committee in July 2007 will be set aside, the appeal against that decision will therefore fall away, and the matter will be placed before a fresh Committee for consideration. The question of Mr Taranissi´s suitability to act as a Person Responsible will be considered when the new Committee decides whether or not to grant his application for a renewal licence for the ARGC. In the meantime, the ARGC has been granted a short term licence (which is due to expire May 2009) pending the decision of the new Committee.
Source: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HEFA), UK.