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Tribunal Procedure

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In DPP Law Ltd v Greenberg, the Court of Appeal provided guidance on the role of the EAT when assessing an employment tribunal’s reasons.

The Claimant was a solicitor who accepted £150 from a client’s father. The tribunal held that the Respondent had a genuine belief that the Claimant had committed an act of gross misconduct.

The EAT disagreed, finding that the case against the Claimant was “essentially circumstantial and inferential”.

The Court of Appeal held that the EAT had “failed to adopt the proper approach of an appellate tribunal”. The tribunal had set out the appropriate method and applied the law correctly.

At paragraph 57, Popplewell LJ sets out the principles which govern the correct approach for the EAT to take to the reasons given by an employment tribunal.

“(1) The decision of an employment tribunal must be read fairly and as a whole, without focusing merely on individual phrases or passages in isolation, and without being hypercritical.”

“(2) A tribunal is not required to identify all the evidence relied on in reaching its conclusions of fact. To impose such a requirement would put an intolerable burden on any fact finder. Nor is it required to express every step of its reasoning in any greater degree of detail than that necessary to be Meek compliant. Expression of the findings and reasoning in terms which are as simple, clear and concise as possible is to be encouraged.”

“(3) It follows from (2) that it is not legitimate for an appellate court or tribunal to reason that a failure by an employment tribunal to refer to evidence means that it did not exist, or that a failure to refer to it means that it was not taken into account in reaching the conclusions expressed in the decision.”