Unison, Regina (on The Application of) v Lord Chancellor: SC 26 Jul 2017

The union appellant challenged the validity of the imposition of fees on those seeking to lay complaints in the Employment Tribunal system.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The fees were discriminatory and restricted access to justice.
The consequence of the order had been very substantially to reduce the number of cases coming before the tribunal, and: ‘The fall in the number of claims has in any event been so sharp, so substantial, and so sustained as to warrant the conclusion that a significant number of people who would otherwise have brought claims have found the fees to be unaffordable . . the Fees Order effectively prevents access to justice, and is therefore unlawful.’
The idea that bringing a claim before a court or a tribunal is a purely private activity, and the related idea that such claims provide no broader social benefit, are demonstrably untenable: ‘At the heart of the concept of the rule of law is the idea that society is governed by law. Parliament exists primarily in order to make laws for society in this country. Democratic procedures exist primarily in order to ensure that the Parliament which makes those laws includes Members of Parliament who are chosen by the people of this country and are accountable to them. Courts exist in order to ensure that the laws made by Parliament, and the common law created by the courts themselves, are applied and enforced. That role includes ensuring that the executive branch of government carries out its functions in accordance with the law. In order for the courts to perform that role, people must in principle have unimpeded access to them. Without such access, laws are liable to become a dead letter, the work done by Parliament may be rendered nugatory, and the democratic election of Members of Parliament may become a meaningless charade. That is why the courts do not merely provide a public service like any other.’

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury PSC, Baroness Hale of Richmond DPSC, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, Lord Wilson, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes JJSC
[2017] UKSC 51, [2017] IRLR 911, [2017] HRLR 11, [2017] 4 All ER 903, [2017] 3 WLR 409, [2017] WLR(D) 552, [2018] 1 CMLR 35, [2017] ICR 1037, [2017] 4 Costs LR 721, UKSC 2015/0233
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary, SC Summary Video, SC 20170327 am video, SC 20170327 pm Video, SC 20170328 am Video, SC 20170328 pm Video, WLRD
Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013 3 4, Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union 51
England and Wales
At AdmnUnison, Regina (on The Application of) v Lord Chancellor Admn 29-Jul-2013
Renewed application for permission to bring a claim for judicial review of the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees Order 2013. . .
At Admn (1)Unison, Regina (on The Application of) v The Lord Chancellor and Another Admn 7-Feb-2014
The claimant challenged the Regulations and Orders charging for the laying of complaints at Employment Tribunals, saying they were mistaken and discriminatory.
Held: The challenge failed. The new Order was not in breach of European Union . .
Appeal FromUnison, Regina (on The Application of) v The Lord Chancellor CA 26-Aug-2015
Unison brought two challenges to rules brought in to impose fees for the bringing of cases in the Employment Tribunal.
Held: The appeals were dismissed. The imposition of a fee would not constitute an interference with the right of effective . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Social Security Ex Parte B and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants CA 27-Jun-1996
The Secretary of State had introduced regulations which excluded the statutory right to payment of ‘urgent case’ benefits for asylum seekers who had not claimed asylum immediately upon arrival, or whose claims for asylum had been rejected, and who . .
CitedImpact v Minister for Agriculture and Food ECJ 15-Apr-2008
ECJ Grand Chamber – Fixed-term employment – Directive 1999/70/EC – Framework agreement on fixed-term work – Abuse through use of successive fixed – term employment contracts – Civil and public servants – . .
CitedStar Storage (Judgment) ECJ 15-Sep-2016
Reference for a preliminary ruling – Directives 89/665/EEC and 92/13/EEC – Public procurement – Review procedures – National legislation making the admissibility of appeals against the acts of a contracting authority subject to giving a ‘good . .

Cited by:
CitedMiller, Regina (On the Application Of) v The Prime Minister QBD 11-Sep-2019
Prorogation request was non-justiciable
The claimant sought to challenge the prorogation of Parliament by the Queen at the request of the respondent.
Held: The claim failed: ‘the decision of the Prime Minister to advise Her Majesty the Queen to prorogue Parliament is not justiciable . .
CitedMiller, Regina (on the Application of) v The Prime Minister; Cherry QC v Lord Advocate SC 24-Sep-2019
Prerogative act of prorogation was justiciable.
The Prime Minister had prorogued Parliament for a period of five weeks, leaving only a short time for Parliament to debate and act the forthcoming termination of the membership by the UK of the EU. The Scottish Court had decided (Cherry) that the . .
CitedMiller v The College of Policing CA 20-Dec-2021
Hate-Incident Guidance Inflexible and Unlawful
The central issue raised in the appeal is the lawfulness of certain parts of a document entitled the Hate Crime Operational Guidance (the Guidance). The Guidance, issued in 2014 by the College of Policing (the College), the respondent to this . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Constitutional, Employment, Human Rights, European

Updated: 30 December 2021; Ref: scu.591177