Bowden v Ministry of Justice & Anor UKEAT/0018/17/LA

Appeal by part-time judge, who was alleging that he ought to have received a judicial pension and certain other improvements to his terms and conditions, against the dismissal of his claims because the ET refused to extend time. Appeal allowed and remitted to a different Tribunal.

The Claimant was born in August 1935. In June 1994 at the age of 58 he became a part-time legal chairman of the Residential Property Tribunal Service. He retired on 27 April 2006. The Claimant said that he knew nothing about pensions for the part-time judiciary until 26 April 2016 when he met a solicitor by chance at a fund raising event who alerted him to the fact that he might have a claim. He brought his claim alleging that he ought to have received a judicial pension promptly after he became aware of his rights. The EJ accepted that until 26 April 2016 the Claimant did not know of the O'Brien litigation or of the possibility of pensions for part-time judicial office holders. He said, however, that there was "one other important finding of fact": the Claimant knew at all material times that he did not have the right to receive a pension for his judicial work but that salaried Judges did. Time will not be extended unless there are just and equitable grounds for extending it and all such findings have been predicated on the existence of some actual factor of weight and significance - there was no such factor in this case. The Claimant appealed.

The Employment Judge did not apply correct principles of law when deciding whether it was just and equitable to consider the Claimant's claim out of time. He placed impermissible reliance on his decision in Miller and Others v Ministry of Justice and did not consider whether, in the Claimant's case, he was reasonably ignorant of his right to bring the claim, and how the prejudice to both parties should be balanced.

Published: 25/08/2017 14:15