Brady Case Delayed

17 January 2006

The attempts by former General secretary Shaun Brady to seek remedies for being dismissed have been held up due to the last minute cancellation of the Remedies Hearing due to be heard on 17th January. We have been told that the Chair of the Tribunal has been taken ill .

 

ASLEF submitted its appeal against the decision that Shaun Brady had been unfairly dismissed before Christmas. Our grounds of appeal included that the Chairman of the Employment Tribunal had failed to act judicially and was perverse in her findings. As a result we asked the Chairman to postpone the Remedies Hearing pending our appeal. The Chairman refused this request. We had notified the Tribunal of our intention to renew this application for postponement at the Remedies Hearing due for 17th January.

 

Apart from her illness, this has not been a good time for the Chairman who heard the Brady case. She has been criticised for a ‘ serious lack of professionalism’ and appearance of a closed mind in a case she heard in 2005 (Heard and Fellow vs Sinclair Roche and Temperly).

 

The Employment Appeal Tribunal in November ruled that that case heard by Ms Cook should be re-run. The Appeal Tribunal accepts that in ‘a very large case there may be errors and oversights’ but says ‘it is absolutely essential that the remitted hearing is correctly and fairly tried’. It concluded that this had not been the case in a previous hearing, which is says must be re-run ‘as a result of errors by the Chairman’.

 

The Appeal Tribunal specifically rules Ms Cook out of being the Chairman of the re-run case, saying, ‘We cannot be confident that this Chairman will be able to handle this extremely sensitive case. It may be because it is of one of those cases which, as sometimes happens, has got on top of someone who is intended to be in charge of it.’

 

It also refers to the fact that there is ‘at least an appearance of a closed mind in relation to the Chairman and her approach to this case’ and refers to ‘orders which appeared to favour the Claimants and to accept assumption in favour of the Claimants and reject argument to the contrary by the Respondents.’

 

This Employment Appeal Tribunal decision is being relied on in ASLEF"s appeal against the decision of the same Chairman in the Brady case.

 

The General Secretary of ASLEF, Keith Norman says that the Appeal Tribunal decision is ‘disturbing’, even though it refers to another case

 

‘I am concerned that the union’s case, and indeed that of Mr Brady, is represented fairly and judged impartially. It is no less than our members’ deserve,’ he said.

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