Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police v Aston and others UKEAT/0304/19/RN

Appeal against the ET’s decision concerning alleged qualifying and protected disclosures. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimants, who were serving police officers, brought a case in the ET concerning alleged qualifying and protected disclosures in connection with their investigation into misconduct, corruption and possible criminal offences committed by a number of officers including senior officers. The ET decided that many of the Claimants' disclosures amounted to qualifying and protected disclosures, and concluded that the Claimants had been subjected to detriments claimed on grounds of having made the protected disclosures. The Respondent appealed against the ET's judgment, (1) challenging the ET's findings on causation and the sufficiency of the causal link between the disclosures and the detriments, (2) challenging the ET's finding of the reason for the treatment complained of in two of the detriments, and (3) contending that the ET should have dismissed one of those detriments on grounds of judicial proceedings immunity (JPI), even though it had not been raised at the ET hearing.

The EAT dismissed the first two grounds of appeal but held, in relation to the third ground, that this was one of the very rare cases where the appeal tribunal should exercise its discretion to allow the point to be raised for the first time on appeal; on that basis, the fact that a witness statement in separate ET proceedings was protected by JPI and could not constitute a detriment, and the fact that this point was not raised before the ET, amounted to an error. Accordingly, the ET's conclusion that that detriment was a well-founded claim would be dismissed.

Published: 22/06/2021 22:37

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