Bennett v London Borough of Southwark: CA 21 Feb 2002

Mrs Bennet was employed by the respondent. She had made complaints of race and sex discrimination. She was then dismissed, and claimed this was victimisation. Part way through the hearing, her representative failed in an application for an adjournment, and said that if he had been white, his application would have been granted. The tribunal refused to continue because of the allegation of discrimination made against itself. The case was to be relisted, but the respondent to make any application strike out the claim to the new tribunal. The claim was later struck out for the ‘scandalous’ behaviour of the advocate. The EAT eventually decided that it was wrong for the tribunal to have recused itself.
Held: The tribunal ought to have given the advocate an opportunity to withdraw his remark. His behaviour fell short of being scandalous, and the striking out was not proportionate. However it was not open to the EAT to have substituted its own decision, and the case must be reheard.


Lord Justice Ward, Lord Justice Sedley, And, Lord Justice Longmore


Times 28-Feb-2002, [2002] EWCA Civ 223, [2006] ICR 655, [2002] IRLR 407, [2002] ICR 881




Employment Tribunals Rules of Procedure 1993 13(2)(e), Employment Tribunals (Constitution etc.) Regulations 1993, Employment Tribunals Act 1996 35(1)


England and Wales

Discrimination, Employment

Updated: 29 June 2022; Ref: scu.167643