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Restricting the right to bring proceedings

Gateley Legal

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Everybody has a right to their day in court! Well not if they have “habitually and persistently and without any reasonable ground brought vexatious proceedings”.

Issue

In those circumstances the Employment Appeal Tribunal has the power to make a Restricted Proceedings Order or RPO which prevents further claims being submitted without permission. In the case of Her Majesty's Attorney General v Mr David Taheri the issue was whether it was appropriate to make such an Order.

Facts

Mr Taheri had made more than 40 discrimination claims over a period of some ten years. All related to unsuccessful applications for employment and in a significant number he had made threats of adverse publicity or referral to Regulatory bodies. Most of the claims had been withdrawn or struck out as having no reasonable prospect of success or because a deposit had not been paid. Only two cases had proceeded to trial, and both had been dismissed with costs being awarded against Mr Taheri.

Decision

There was sufficient evidence to establish that Mr Taheri had habitually and persistently, and without any reasonable grounds, pursued proceedings that had little or no basis in law. He had also subjected would-be employers to inconvenience, harassment and expense out of all proportion to any gain likely to accrue to him. His arguments that this would unfairly infringe on his human rights were rejected and the Restricted Proceedings Order was made.

Key points

RPO’s are only made in rare cases where on balance they are necessary to prevent persistent abusive claims having a negative impact on the administration of justice. Before making such an Order the rights of the individual will have to be taken into consideration and the potential that they may genuinely experience discrimination when seeking employment might present a high hurdle.

However, it will be relevant that it is not a complete ban as an individual may still get permission to make a new claim.

Gateley Plc is authorised and regulated by the SRA (Solicitors' Regulation Authority). Please visit the SRA website for details of the professional conduct rules which Gateley Legal must comply with.