Stop Employment Tribunals status of Court of 'no record' now
Stop Employment Tribunals status of Court of 'no record' now
Why this petition matters
Start inquiry into the UK Employment Tribunals injustice and systemic failures as Court of 'no record'.
The Law Society Gazette recent article: 'Lack of transcripts 'prejudices employment hearings' [https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/lack-of-transcripts-prejudices-employment-hearings/5111947.article highlighted this huge problem:
"More than 300 doctors, journalists and whistleblowers have called for employment tribunal proceedings to be recorded and official transcripts provided to parties to improve fairness and access to justice.
Signatories of a letter sent to Judge Barry Clarke, president of the employment tribunal services in England and Wales, say that an 'accurate and complete court record is a fundamental prerequisite and basis for a fair trial'. But, they argue, the lack of an independent and complete transcript is a 'serious shortcoming' in the system.
At present, no official recording or transcripts are made of proceedings in the employment tribunal, and any person making one faces charges for contempt of court."
At the moment Employment Tribunal doesn't record all hearings, transcripts are not available and judges word is the only word ( no record of the hearing/ no transcript/rare media presence or public at the hearing other than interested parties). Between my discrimination and sexual harassment hearing ( with 8! Respondent's witnesses presented against 4 originally planned and me unrepresented against large legal Group in 3 day hearing with 21 claims 430 pages bundle; English not my first language) and the Judgment I received 11 months! later were many discrepancies I try to challenge but it is 'pointless' and near impossible, as facts cannot be challenged at the Appeal Tribunal or JACO won't really investigate bias and perversity or Judges conduct, which is really your word against this authority.
My case was hindered in many ways along the way from case launch on 03 Dec 2016 ongoing; I try to address institutional racism; but many British Claimants had similar experiences regarding injustice they suffered. See testimonies to this article from 2014 to date:
See Comments/testimonies: http://etclaims.co.uk/2014/03/is-the-tribunal-system-corrupt/#comment-72303
Details of my case can be found here: https://24054282016and24022112019.com/
I did not have the strongest case but proved some claims which were made to be forgotten in 11 months to written Judgment and simply unjust.
If you had similar experience or know of someone who did, please ask The Government to look into this and ensure fair trial and democracy.
My grievances are being downplayed, process hindered in order to be set to fail and Judgment impossible to challenge despite omitting crucial evidence or even perjury.
Note The Modernisation of Tribunals Innovation Plan for 2019/2020, Senior President of Tribunals concluded, Par.7:
"Aim: To digitally record all hearings in the Tribunals.
▪ To provide one of the means by which open access to justice i.e. the scrutiny of public hearings is facilitated.
▪ To provide a record independent of the judge and panel members which is capable, where appropriate, of transcription.
Plan: In 2019, recording facilities will be introduced in all First-tier Tribunals that sit in the HMCTS estate."
And Transparency data Minutes of the National User Group meeting held on 27 February 2019 published 04 Jul 2019 read in Employment Tribunal-President Report:
"The President addressed the need for audio-recording of ET hearings. Resources had been found to enable this to be achieved and both the Employment Tribunal and the First-tier Tribunal would benefit from the acquisition of recording equipment in hearing rooms. It was planned to be a gradual rollout from April 2019 to March 2020. Currently there was a pilot in Exeter being held in Social Security & Child Support hearings, which had been successful.
Testing of equipment would be required. A nationally agreed protocol would cover the practice of recording hearings and the provision of transcripts. If a party were to ask for a transcript, as in the courts it would be on the payment of a fee. The President said that audio-recording would be welcome for a number of reasons: reducing the need for the judges to take verbatim notes; providing parties with a transcript of the hearing; improving the conduct of hearings generally; providing some discouragement for litigants or witnesses to misconduct themselves in hearings; and giving leadership judges the means to check complaints about how a judge allegedly behaved in a hearing (and thereby perhaps
discouraging unmeritorious complaints)."
Regional Employment Tribunal Judge, Central London, Judge Wade stated in an interview on 21 Dec 2021:
“It is a significant burden in our system, that we are expected to provide written reasons for people, if they ask or if the hearing doesn’t finish in the allotted time. Sometimes there is no option but to do what we call a reserved decision and it is a SIGNIFICANT BURDEN on Employment Judges. Judges in County and Higher Courts don’t have that obligation – THEY HAVE TRANSCRIPTS AVAILABLE. We do not, we do not record our hearings, we do not have transcripts available, so the Judge has to sit down and CRAFT a written decision which can be very long and time consuming, so they need at least a day to come to their decision and get it into some kind of shape that it could be produced as a written document.”
However Tribunal Presidents and HMCTS backtracked, as reported by Westminster Confidential News, 11 May 2022
"Backtracking and pussy footing: How a top judge reneged on plans to start nationwide recordings at tribunals":
"New information has emerged showing how HM Court and Tribunal Service has backtracked and pussy footed over ending the scandalous failure to provide proper recordings and transcripts at employment tribunal hearings.
This failure led to a letter signed by over 320 people -including 80 NHS consultants and leading professors- demanding an explanation from Sir Keith Lindblom, senior president of the tribunals, on why this has not been done. There is widespread dissatisfaction among whistleblowers both in the NHS and industrial hearings about this.
My understanding is that HMCTS has an aspiration of a nationwide recording of all tribunals but no timetable yet on how this going to be achieved. But there does not appear to be any drive and determination to get this done, even though resources had been put aside. It is simply not good enough."
Lack of transcripts 'prejudices employment hearings' Law Gazette 22Mar2022 https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/lack-of-transcripts-prejudices-employment-hearings/5111947.article
Employment Tribunal Open Justice Campaign - Backtracking and pussy footing: How a top judge reneged on plans to start nationwide recordings at tribunals David Hencke 11May2022Westminster Confidentialhttps://davidhencke.com/2022/05/11/backtracking-and-pussy-footing-how-a-top-judge-reneged-on-plans-to-start-nationwide-recordings-at-tribunals/
Government accused of ignoring crisis in employment tribunal Law Gazette 10Dec2020 https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/government-accused-of-ignoring-crisis-in-employment-tribunal/5106759.article
Dragging tribunals into the 21st century Law Gazette 10 Jun 2022 https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice-points/dragging-tribunals-into-the-21st-century/5112761.article
Why aren’t employment tribunals being recorded and transcribed? Financial Times 13Jun2022 (Subscription only) https://www.ft.com/content/b85ba936-c17c-401f-9957-39b1e8cee6b4 “If an issue raised in oral testimony or conceded under cross-examination isn’t covered in a judgment, a claimant has no means of knowing whether the judge made a note of it, or mentally registered its significance,” Ward says. “To me it all seems skewed against the claimant,”
New tech to ‘halve’ transcript costs Law Gazette 01 Apr 2019 https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/new-tech-to-halve-transcript-costs/5069820.article
Stuck in legal limbo: whistleblowers’ case suffers delays and errors in ‘court of no record’ employment tribunal Central Bylines 25May2022 https://centralbylines.co.uk/stuck-in-legal-limbo-whistleblowers-case-suffers-delays-and-errors-in-court-of-no-record-employment-tribunal/