Higgs v Farmor's School [2023] EAT 45

Application for the recusal of one of the lay members on the EAT panel on the basis of bias. Application granted.

This case related to the composition of the EAT panel which was hearing an appeal involving a teacher who had shared social media posts relating to the introduction of relationship education and gender fluidity in primary schools. An application for recusal was made on the basis that an EAT lay member, assigned to sit on the hearing of this appeal, had held office as the Assistant General Secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), which had (over the period relevant to the present appeal) taken a strong, public position, campaigning in respect of the issues at the core of the proceedings, thus giving rise to the appearance of bias.

The EAT allowed the application. Applying the test of the fair-minded and informed observer (Porter v Magill [2002] 2 AC 357 HL), there was an appearance of bias such that the lay member should be recused from hearing the appeal.


Published: 26/04/2023 16:32

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