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Limits of the Burns/ Barke Procedure

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The Court of Appeal has underlined the limits of using the Burns/Barke procedure in appeal proceedings.

This procedure allows the EAT, before it decides the appeal, to refer specific questions to the employment tribunal requesting it to clarify or supplement its reasons where no reasons were given, or where the reasons given were inadequate.

In Woodhouse School v Webster, the Court of Appeal reminded tribunals - in fairly uncompromising terms - that they must not go beyond this task, for example, by advancing arguments in defence of its decision or supplying information which is not requested. See paras. 25-29 for the Court of Appeal's comments.

[Thanks to Paul Lewis from St John's Chambers, Bristol, for preparing this case summary]