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Physical intimidation made fair trial impossible

A Company Director who physically threatened an unfair dismissal claimant in the Employment Tribunal car park left him in genuine fear and made a fair trial impossible.

The employer’s appeal against “strike-out” – which prevents the defending party from taking any further part in proceedings and therefore significantly reduces the likelihood of success – was unsuccessful.

There will be circumstances where intimidation may not prevent the continuing involvement of the offending party – for example, if it occurs at a very late stage in proceedings or if the intimidation is genuinely repudiated by that party. Even then, the essential question will still be whether a fair trial is possible. If it is not, then the repudiation will be ineffective.

[Force 1 Utilities Limited v Hatfield (UKEAT/0048/08)]


Employment Department

Raj Dhokia: r.dhokia@fglaw.co.uk