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Perils of Tribunal’s own research
In East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust v Saunders, the EAT found that a Tribunal had wrongly gone off on a frolic of its own in conducting its own internet research into the condition of a disabled Claimant – and then relying on it. The Claimant alleged she was disabled under the Equality Act due to the symptoms of her depression. She has been prescribed medication. The Tribunal decided to conduct its own internet research on her condition and its medication and found evidence to suggest that she was taking the maximum dose. It proceeded to question her in detail on this basis, assuming that information was accurate. The EAT found that the Tribunal had crossed the line between impartiality and acting as an advocate on behalf of the Claimant (he was unrepresented) rather than performing its proper role as adjudicator.
This legal update is provided for general information purposes only and should not be applied to specific circumstances without prior consultation with us.
For further details on any of the issues covered in this update please contact Gemma Ospedale, Partner in Employment on 020 7583 2222.
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