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Intimidation of Litigants

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Last week we heard about the Respondent whose Response was struck out for threatening the Claimant in the tribunal car park. This week, things get even closer to home - a Respondent threatened a Claimant, using unpleasant and intimidating language, outside the lifts at the Southampton tribunal (see para. 6 of the judgment).

The employment tribunal held that such threats could not amount to an actionable case of victimisation, as they were so closely connected with the hearing that judicial proceedings immunity applied. The EAT overturned this, holding that conversations outside the lift did not form any part of the juducial proceedings (para. 15).

Separately, the EAT held that conduct intended to deter a Claimant from enforcing his statutory employment rights would be sufficient closely connected with the employment relationship to amount to a (potentially) unlawful act by an employer within the meaning of the discrimination legislation (para. 14).