Storer v British Gas plc: CA 25 Feb 2000

An industrial tribunal hearing conducted behind the locked doors of the chairman’s office was not held in public, even if, in fact, no member of the public was prevented from attending. The obligation to sit in public was fundamental, and the tribunal had no jurisdiction to conduct itself in this way. The industrial tribunal system had no provision for chambers like hearings.
‘ the test as to whether a hearing is in public or in private cannot depend on whether in fact any member of the public was prevented from attending the hearing. Were that not the case, then it would be a simple stratagem not to list any case which the court administration wished to be heard in private.’


Henry, Robert Walker, Scott Baker LJJ


Times 01-Mar-2000, [2000] ICR 603, [2000] IRLR 495, [2000] 1 WLR 1237, [2000] 2 All ER 440




Employment Rights Act 1996 111(2), Industrial Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 1993


England and Wales


Appeal fromStorer v British Gas Plc EAT 16-Oct-1998
The claimant appealed against rejection of his claim for unfair dismissal and similar, the decision being made that the applications were out of time. He also complained that the hearing had effectively heard been in private.
Held: No arguable . .
CitedScott v Scott HL 5-May-1913
Presumption in Favour of Open Proceedings
There had been an unauthorised dissemination by the petitioner to third parties of the official shorthand writer’s notes of a nullity suit which had been heard in camera. An application was made for a committal for contempt.
Held: The House . .
CitedRegina v Denbigh Justices QBD 1974
The Court was sitting in Llanrwst, in Court 2, a small court. There, in a list of minor offences, two members of the Welsh Language Society were being prosecuted for using their televisions without licences. They attended for their trial with 20 or . .
CitedHodgson and others v Imperial Tobacco Limited Gallagher Limited etc CA 12-Feb-1998
A large number of plaintiffs brought actions against the defendants, three tobacco companies, claiming damages for personal injuries by reason of cancer which they claimed was caused by smoking cigarettes manufactured by the defendants. A hearing . .
CitedMcpherson v McPherson PC 16-Dec-1935
(Alberta) The Board considered the degree of publicity appropriate at the trial of divorce suits. The undefended divorce of a well-known politician was conducted not in a court room (though there were empty courts available) but in the Judges’ . .

Cited by:

CitedPelling, Regina (On the Application of) v Bow County Court Admn 19-Oct-2000
. .
CitedPelling, Regina (on the Application Of) v Bow County Court CA 22-Jan-2001
Application for permission to appeal from refusal of leave to bring judicial review. . .
CitedA Practitioner v Customs and Excise VDT 12-Dec-2003
PROCEDURE – hearing in public or private – VAT Tribunals Rules 1986 r 24(1) – assessment to recover allegedly over-claimed input tax – VATA 1994 ss 25, 26, VAT Regs 1995, reg 29, Sixth Directive art 18 – Human Rights Convention arts 6 and 8 – . .
CitedO’Connor and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Crown Prosecution Service and Another Admn 4-Nov-2016
Questions about the respective powers of courts and court staff to exclude members of the public from a court building because of a perceived risk that they would cause disruption and about when an unlawful limitation of access deprives a hearing of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 13 July 2022; Ref: scu.89575