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Strike Out: Intimidatory Conduct

  • Posted

The EAT has held, in Force One Utilities v Hatfield, that it is appropriate to strike out a Response when the employer's main witness threatens the Claimant at the tribunal.

The Respondent's main witness threatened and swore at the Claimant in a car park near the tribunal (see paras. 7-9). The EAT held that:

  • once intimidation of this kind has occurred, it will be a very exceptional case where it can be said that a finding that no fair trial is possible is perverse (para. 28);
  • a possible exception is where the intimidation happens very late in the trial, when a fair hearing may well remain possible (para. 31).