Mattu v The University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust: CA 18 May 2012

The doctor appellant challenged rejection of his claim that his dismissal was ineffective, the Trust having failed to accord him his Article 6 rights in the disciplinary process.
Held: His appeal failed. The question before the court was in effect: ‘does a decision by an employer whether to dismiss an employee under a contract of employment determine a civil right of the employee within the meaning of Article 6?’ Stanley Burnton LJ said: ‘I would emphasise the court’s reference to ‘the right to continue to exercise the medical profession The decision of the Trust to dismiss Doctor Mattu did not affect his right to practise his profession. He could lawfully do so either in private practice or as an employee of another NHS Trust or of a private hospital. His civil right lawfully to practise his profession was not engaged.
Mr Hendy submitted that, although Doctor Mattu’s legal right to work as a doctor was not affected by his dismissal, in practice his right was affected because the practical consequence of his dismissal is that he cannot find employment with another NHS Trust . . However . . in my judgment the question of applicability of Article 6 cannot depend on whether in fact a doctor or other professional can obtain work in his field as a result of his dismissal by an employer. Article 6 is concerned with legal rights and obligations. Its application cannot vary depending on the particular facts of each case.’

Stanley Burnton, Elias LJJ, Sir Stephen Sedley
[2012] EWCA Civ 641, [2013] ICR 270, [2012] WLR(D) 152
European Convention on Human Rights 6
England and Wales

Employment, Human Rights

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.457820