Riley v Crown Prosecution Service  EWCA Civ 951;  IRLR 966; (2014) EMPLR 041
Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
Mummery, Longmore and Rimer LJJ
If a delay in tribunal proceedings is so long that a fair trial is no longer possible, then a tribunal is right to strike out the claim, even if the delay is caused by ill health due to stress alleged to have been caused by the treatment which the claimant is complaining about in the tribunal proceedings.
Ms R brought three sets of tribunal proceedings claiming bullying and harassment, racial discrimination and eventual dismissal for making false allegations. An occupational health report stated that she was unfit to attend a hearing and would not be fit for at least a further 12 months.
The tribunal struck the claim out because the events she was complaining about were already so far in the past that a fair trial was no longer possible. The Court of Appeal held the tribunal was entitled to strike out the claim. Doctors could not give any realistic prognosis of sufficient improvement within a reasonable time and the case was dealing with matters which were already in the distant past.
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