Tribunals: impossible burden

Any court may become irritated at poor representation by any professional, and it is a fact of life that the name of the game is to keep the chair on side.

Unless the HR person’s employer regularly faces claims, attendances at court are likely to be fewer than for an employment lawyer serving many clients; thus the HR person’s presentation skills may be less well honed.

Perhaps more relevant is the nature of the hearing.

Tribunals deal with claims relating to personal rights, and the tests in some types of case can often be difficult to apply in a forensic way.

For example, in discrimination claims, the case will turn on what the claimant felt, rather than a carefully prepared legal argument.

Overall, there is no doubt that the system imposes an almost impossible burden on employers, who are forced to spend large sums of money to defend their position, regardless of its merits.

Adrian Marlowe
Managing director, Lawspeed

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