Claimant's Right to a Fair Hearing

A recent preliminary hearing at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in the case of Mr A Power v Greater Manchester Police Authority resulted in an interesting conclusion.

The Tribunal determined that the right to a fair trial is not compromised when an employer accused of discrimination cannot produce the decision maker responsible for the alleged discrimination to face cross-examination at trial.

In the case, the Greater Manchester Police Authority (GMPA) had decided to dismiss Mr Power based on a letter written to him by officer Christine Joyce., The letter stated that "information has come to light regarding previous work with neighbouring forces and your current work in the psychic field which is not compatible with employment in GMPA."

Mr Power contended that, as Ms Joyce had not been called to give evidence in his original case, he had not received a fair trial under Article 6 of the Human Rights Act. Ms Joyce had not been called as she had been dismissed by GMPA in the period before the case was heard.

While the EAT established that the respondent's explanation for the dismissal may be weakened if relevant witnesses could not be produced and cross-examined, it also found that this does not constitute a breach of the claimant's right to a fair trial. Article 6 of the Human Rights Act...

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