Friday, 16 June 2017
Self-incrimination and employment tribunal procedure examined
The Claimant was dismissed after the Respondent found he had been dishonest.He brought a claim of unfair dismissal at the ET. At the hearing,one of the Respondent's witnesses said they had heard that the police had referred his case to the CPS (although no criminal charges were ever brought).
The EJ decided that the Claimant should not give evidence because of the privilege against self-incrimination and he continued the case without the Claimant being cross-examined.He dismissed the claim and the Claimant appealed.
The EAT allowed the appeal.The Claimant's evidence,and cross examination apon it,was relevant to the issues the Employment Judge had to decide.He should not have proceeded without hearing it,and the Claimant's representative did not consent to that course.
The Employment Judge had not,however,been bound to adjourn the case.He could and should have waited to see if the Claimant had claimed any privilege against self- incrimination and made an application to adjourn.He should have considered any application to adjourn having regard to the submissions of both parties.
Coletta v Bath Hill Court (Bournemouth) Management Co.Ltd. UKAET/0297?16/RN
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