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Tribunal procedure: EAT guidance on preliminary hearings

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Sutcliffe and another v Big C's Marine and others [1998] IRLR 428 EAT (0 other reports)

It was within the discretion of an employment tribunal chair, sitting alone, to determine a preliminary point as to the identity of the employer in unfair dismissal proceedings, holds the EAT in Sutcliffe and another v Big C's Marine and others [1998] IRLR 428. However, the EAT says that the increasing tendency for tribunals to identify preliminary issues and then require them to be heard by a chair alone is "a source of potential injustice". The presumption must be that parties before employment tribunals are entitled to have the whole of their case heard and determined at the same time, but if a preliminary point is to be decided separately it must be presumed that, except in those cases specifically identified by statute as those which may be heard by a tribunal chair alone, the parties are entitled to a determination by a full panel at every stage of the case unless both otherwise consent.