News and Events

Civil Restraint Orders

  • Posted

 Thanks to Neil Addison of New Bailey Chambers for preparing this case summary

Can the High Court make a Civil Restraint Order (CRO) to prevent further claims being brought in the employment tribunal?

Yes, held the High Court in Nursing & MIdwifery Council v Harrold.

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. The Claimant applied for a CRO to prevent any more claims being brought. The Defendant argued that under Civil Procedure Rule 3.11 a CRO could only apply to claims in the County and High Court, not employment tribunal claims.

The Judge decided that the power to make a CRO did not derive from CPR 3.11 but was part of the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court. This allowed the High Court to make orders to assist the administration of justice by inferior courts including the employment tribunal where the employment tribunal did not itself have the necessary power. Vexatious claims needed to be prevented in the employment tribunal just as much as in the Civil Courts, and since the employment tribunal did not have the power to make a CRO itself, the High Court could make one for it.