Patel wins right to appeal

The High Court will hear an appeal against rogue surgeon Jayant Patel's manslaughter convictions.

Patel's legal team was granted special leave to appeal to the full High Court during a brief application on Friday morning.

No date has been set for the full appeal, which lawyers have indicated could run for two days.

Patel's barrister told the High Court that Patel was convicted on the basis that his decision to operate was criminally negligent.

However, he argued the piece of legislation used for prosecution was not broad enough to cover Patel's decision-making, but could only relate to any mistakes the doctor might have made during the surgeries.

Patel's legal team was also seeking to appeal on the basis that there was a miscarriage of justice when the crown "dramatically changed its case" mid-way through the trial.

Mr Kelly said the jury should have been discharged at that point as they had already heard substantial prejudicial evidence that was no longer relevant under the new case.

He also said they would have run a different defence had the new case been run from the start of the trial.

The High Court requested further submissions on this argument and will decide whether to also grant special leave to appeal on this ground at a later date.

Patel was sentenced to seven years' jail in July 2010 after a Brisbane Supreme Court jury found him guilty of manslaughter relating to the deaths of Gerry Kemps, 77, James Phillips, 46, and Mervyn Morris, 75, and guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to Ian Rodney Vowles, 62.

He was a surgeon at Bundaberg Base Hospital between March 2003 and April 2005 when the crimes occurred.

Patel has consistently fought to clear his name.

Following the guilty verdicts, he took his case to the Court of Appeal in Brisbane early last year, seeking to have his conviction overturned.

The appeal was dismissed, as was a cross-appeal by Queensland's attorney-general to have his sentence increased.

The Queensland Court of Appeal has previously ruled Patel's decision to operate was so "grossly reprehensible" as to fall within the meaning of criminal negligence.

Patel, who was not present for Friday's hearing, is yet to face eight charges of fraud and attempted fraud in relation to allegations he lied to gain employment at the hospital.

The crown has also previously indicated it will proceed with a charge of grievous bodily harm relating to patient Darcy Russell Blight.

Patel is accused of removing a healthy gland from Mr Blight's neck.