Johnson v Edwardian International Hotels Limited: EAT 23 Jul 2009

Case management
On remission to the Employment Tribunal by the EAT, a CMD set out the issues to be heard. The full range of the Claimant’s 12 strands of discrimination was not to be determined but only considered as background to two claims. There was no appeal against that agreed order so the full hearing could not be criticised when it did not descend into decisions on all the original claims. There was no evidence that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were filming him in the toilet or that the Prime Minister and the Queen were directing judicial decisions.
EMPLAW EMPLAW An appeal to the EAT was rejected on sift. The EAT refused to reinstate it (on rule 3(7) application).
Mr Johnson was a kitchen porter empoyed by the Radisson Edwardian Group at their Sussex Hotel in the West End of London. He was dismissed and raised a large number of complaints about his treatment. In the words of the EAT (HHJ McMullen) Mr Johnson ‘is not a person who restricts himself to succinct submissions and his claim form and supporting material extend over some 36 pages. In it he complains variously of discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability. He complains that he has been victimised, harassed and humiliated and that he was unfairly and wrongfully dismissed’.
Mr Johnson was once a member of the Watchtower Society, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, although they parted company in 2003. Since then it is his belief that they have decided to wreck his life. He talked about the Watch Tower Society instigating his dismissal; coming into the Hotel to turn staff against him; spreading rumours about his sexuality; preventing witnesses from assisting him; falsely imprisoning him in a Psychiatric Hospital; installing secret cameras in changing rooms and in his room; and showing the tapes to the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
An Employment Judge imposed a stay when she agreed an application made by Edwardian International Hotels Ltd that the Official Solicitor should take control of the proceedings on the basis that Mr Johnson was delusional and had mental incapacity. The EAT allowed an appeal against that order in May 2008 (Underhill J. pointed out that ‘the courts and tribunals have experience of many litigants with strange beliefs or obsessions which may reflect mental ill-health of one kind or another, but only in extreme cases does the question generally arise of treating them as mentally incapable: mental illness does not necessarily involve mental incapacity’ – see Johnson v Edwardian International Hotels Ltd, EAT 2nd May 2008).
Eventually Mr Johnson’s claim of unfair dismissal was rejected (a claim of wrongful dismissal was accepted and the Tribunal made an award in his favour of andpound;372).
He appealed to the EAT but his appeal was not allowed to proceed. It was rejected on the sift as not disclosing any arguable question of law. As was his right (see Employment Appeal Tribunal Rules 1993, SI 1993/2854, as amended, rule 3(7) he applied for that rejection to be overruled.
Mr Johnson was represented by Counsel but even so has failed in this attempt. His application was dismissed, the EAT stating ‘The appeal will be taken no further and is effectively dismissed’.

In the course of his judgment HHJ McMullen pointed out ‘In the hands of skilled Counsel like Mr Purchase anything is arguable, but that is not the test.’ He also noted that Mr Johnson was ‘still aggrieved about the way in which his case was handled at the Employment Tribunal [and] . . sought to address me on the involvement of politicians in judicial decision making. In short, it was his complaint that the Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Mr Gordon Brown PC MP, had directed judicial officers to make the decisions which they did’. He also contended that the Queen and the previous Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, together with the Ghanaian High Commission, were involved in the dispute and controlling judicial decisions.


[2009] UKEAT 1558 – 08 – 2307




Updated: 04 August 2022; Ref: scu.374679