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Civil Restraint Orders

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According to the High Court in National Midwifery Council v Harrold, it would be desirable for employment tribunals - when they make decisions in weak claims - to consider, and make a finding on whether the claim (or application) is Totally Without Merit.

The Defendant was a former Nurse who, after being struck off the Nursing Register, had brought a series of unsuccessful employment tribunal claims against the NMC and the NHS. In an earlier incarnation of this case, the Claimant applied for a Civil Restraint Order (‘CRO’) to prevent any more claims being brought, and the High Court held that a CRO could be granted when an employment tribunal Claimant brought claims which were Totally Without Merit in the employment tribunal (notwithstanding the wording of the CPR appeared to limit CROs to Claimants who had brought such cases in the civil courts only).

The case having now returned to the High Court, the Judge commented (para 139) that she hoped employment tribunals would take notice of this suggestion. She said it would greatly help to have the views of the employment tribunal on the Totally Without Merit issue in any case in which a Respondent to employment tribunal claims applies for a CRO in the High Court.