Employment Appeal Tribunal transcript request

John Rudkin made this Freedom of Information request to Ministry of Justice

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Waiting for an internal review by Ministry of Justice of their handling of this request.

Dear Ministry of Justice,

Reference this request. I regret having to submit this additional FOIA request, but while I await a response on the matter below, I seem to be meeting rejection at all stages of enquiry to date:

Mr J Rudkin vs Blackpool Council Case Number: 2408808/2011

"It has been admitted that an error in Tribunal Procedures saw information about my Tribunal Case destroyed before it should have been"

My request is simple to the MOJ (EAT). In order to further pursue a case that was the subject of an Employment Tribunal application (Mr J Rudkin vs Blackpool Council Case Number: 2408808/2011) between 2011 and 2014 (at Appeal), I am trying to gather facts (other than those provided in the two judgements) that I feel have impacted the path of my case after the first hearing. Additional evidence was presented and rejected by the Judge, and misrepresentative and incorrect statements were presented, initial Judges orders were not taken into account, and evidence rejected by Judges based on assumptions drawn from the Respondent's erroneous witness statements.

I respectfully now request the transcripts of the hearing held on Wednesday January 8th 2014 at Fleetbank House (Ref: PA/0940/13/DM, before His Honour Judge Peter Clarke (Sitting Alone)

Yours faithfully,

John Rudkin

Dear Ministry of Justice,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Ministry of Justice's handling of my FOI request 'Employment Appeal Tribunal transcript request'.

I have received no correspondence about this. The latest communication from Manchester EAT follows. This is unacceptable.

From: John Rudkin [email address]
Subject: Re: PA/0940/13/DM - Mr J A Rudkin v Blackpool Council
Date: 9 February 2015 17:26
To: LONDONEAT [email address]
Bcc: John Rudkin [email address]
Dear Ms. Johnson,
Many thanks for your reply to my email, which you are treating as a
second stage complaint.
Please note that I refer directly to your email below:
1) "I regard those records as sufficient indication that it was
sent." If I may respectfully note here that my complaint is that I
did not receive the communication/judgement - thereby making it
impossible for me to have been able to follow it up. I cannot prove
it did not arrive, but I think my comments may help ascertain that
to be true. To date I have responded to all similar judgements and
notices.
"My email of 15th of February 2014 was an attempt to chase up on
the outcome of my EAT - as nothing had been received."
"You suggest that the EAT keeps a record of outgoing post.". I do
not recall suggesting retention of outgoing post, but I certainly
think it would make sense to have a record of postage, or better
still, communications being signed for if the communication is an
important one. In this case it was a communication that was
specifically requested, and one which if not received could limit
the "recipients" rights as seems to have happened here.
2) "I do not accept that your email of 15 February 2014 is chasing
up the outcome from the EAT. It is addressed to both Manchester ET
and EAT; it does not bear the EAT’s reference number; and it does
not say that you have not received any written record of the
outcome of the appeal. It seems to be asking for advice as to how
to pursue the matter further."
As I have already pointed out, this is all new to me. It looks as
though there is no acceptance that I have told the truth, and I am
not happy about it. Luckily I do not, or have never needed to
access the services of Tribunals before, although I was advised
that there is an awareness among Judges and the Tribunals that
'novice' self-supported applicants are given some lea-way in
interpretation and the ways of the law. You seem to be calling me a
liar? I am really sorry that you do not accept the reasoning I gave
for my email of February 15th 2014. If I was expecting any sort of
advice I am sure you would have informed me according that you
could not offer this.......but I did not even receive an
acknowledgement. I have now had two apologies for that, but they do
not help.
3) "As Mrs Muir said in her email, your recent request for a
transcript was put before Judge Clark, who refused it. I cannot
deal with a complaint about that refusal by way of an
administrative complaint." Thank you for clarifying this point.
Again, as a novice, I did not know this.
4) "I accept that the EAT should have replied to your email of 15
February 2014, and I add my apology that we did not to Mrs Muir’s,
but as Mrs Muir said, it is not clear in that email what you wanted
the EAT to do. The EAT’s reply would have been to say that we could
not advise you how to proceed and that any further challenge would
have to be to the Court of Appeal." I want to point out once again,
in failing to reply to my
email of February 15th 2014 (which has received an apology), and in
failing to ensure that
email of February 15th 2014 (which has received an apology), and in
failing to ensure that the requested judgement was actually
received at my home address the EAT (which you do not do as a
matter of importance) has compounded the problem. You must
understand the position this left me in. How much chasing of the
EAT is a member of the public expected to do?
5) "Your numbered complaints 1 to 3 seem to relate entirely to the
Employment Tribunal. This is not something I can deal with and you
should address these matters to the Employment Tribunal. I have
dealt with your complaint number 4 above." You are correct that
points 1 to 3 relate to the Employment tribunal. These points were
all made in my Appeal, but the Judge would not consider them. This
might be why I was keen to see the complete judgement - which
again, as evidenced from Judgements I received from Manchester
Tribunals, contained details and reason why certain decisions were
made. I don't recall asking for "transcripts" until this was
mentioned by the EAT when I contacted you later in 2014.
6) "I am sorry that you remain dissatisfied with the service you
have received from the EAT. Except that we did not reply to your
email of 15 February 2014, I do not accept that there has been any
failure by the EAT." Your comment is only the second time that I
can recall having a formal apology from an organisation when the
claim is that was done wrong. The last time this happened was when
the internal appeal process offered my apologies for the way I was
treated - and Blackpool Council then went on to claim that they had
done nothing wrong!
I am not happy with the response Ms. Johnson.
You may wish to pass this communication on to Communications &
Customer Service Team. I will also copy it in writing as advised.
Yours sincerely,
Mr John Rudkin
45, Folkestone Road Lytham St Annes Lancashire
FY8 3EH
On 9 Feb 2015, at 16:43, LONDONEAT <[email address]> wrote: Dear Mr
Rudkin
Thank you for your email of 29 January 2015, which I shall treat as
a second stage complaint. I am therefore reviewing Mrs Muir’s
handling of your complaint.
You suggest that the EAT keeps a record of outgoing post. I do not
consider it practical for the EAT’s post room to log the address of
every item of outgoing post. As Mrs Muir wrote in her email of 28
January 2015, we have the file copy of the covering letter sent
with the order seal-dated 22 January 2014. Although she did not say
so, there is also a corresponding entry on our case management
system which records that the order was sealed and sent to parties
on that date. I regard those records as sufficient indication that
it was sent.
The court log records that a transcript was not ordered or
requested at the hearing.
The court log records that a transcript was not ordered or
requested at the hearing. As Mrs Muir wrote, you were represented
at the hearing by pro bono counsel, who would have been able to
advise you what you should do if you wanted to pursue the matter
further.
You did not pursue the fact that you had not received any written
record of the outcome of your appeal until almost ten months after
the hearing.
I do not accept that your email of 15 February 2014 is chasing up
the outcome from the EAT. It is addressed to both Manchester ET and
EAT; it does not bear the EAT’s reference number; and it does not
say that you have not received any written record of the outcome of
the appeal. It seems to be asking for advice as to how to pursue
the matter further.
As Mrs Muir said in her email, your recent request for a transcript
was put before Judge Clark, who refused it. I cannot deal with a
complaint about that refusal by way of an administrative complaint.
As Mrs Muir also wrote, as you did not appeal the decision from the
hearing on 08 January 2014 to the Court of Appeal (and would now be
considerably out of time to do so), the transcript of the judgment
is of academic interest only. If you had appealed the decision,
then the Court of Appeal would have asked the EAT to transcribe the
judgment, and we would have done so.
As Mrs Muir pointed out, the EAT’s procedures are set out in its
Practice Direction, and a copy was sent to you when you lodged your
appeal, with a covering letter which emphasised its importance.
Your numbered complaints 1 to 3 seem to relate entirely to the
Employment Tribunal. This is not something I can deal with and you
should address these matters to the Employment Tribunal. I have
dealt with your complaint number 4 above.
I accept that the EAT should have replied to your email of 15
February 2014, and I add my apology that we did not to Mrs Muir’s,
but as Mrs Muir said, it is not clear in that email what you wanted
the EAT to do. The EAT’s reply would have been to say that we could
not advise you how to proceed and that any further challenge would
have to be to the Court of Appeal.
I am sorry that you remain dissatisfied with the service you have
received from the EAT. Except that we did not reply to your email
of 15 February 2014, I do not accept that there has been any
failure by the EAT.
If you are not satisfied with my response to your complaint then
you may appeal in writing to:
Communications & Customer Service Team HMCTS
1.10, 1st Floor
102 Petty France
London
SW1H 9AJ
SW1H 9AJ
Julia Johnson
Deputy Registrar Employment Appeal Tribunal
From: John Rudkin [mailto:[email address]]
Sent: 29 January 2015 11:54
To: EATAssociates
Subject: Re: PA/0940/13/DM - Mr J A Rudkin v Blackpool Council
Dear Ms. Muir,
Thank you for your response. I appreciate the fact that you have
accepted my communication as a complaint because that is what was
intended - although I may not have followed the exact procedures,
nor used wording that might be used through a professionally
supported route. My naivety (admitted) comes from the fact that
this incident, arising as it did from my ‘unfair dismissal’ claim,
through Appeal, is a first. I decided to run my own representation
on my reference to information generally available from the various
Government supported sites. I am afraid throughout, I feel as
though I have not been given the support or patience promised.
Thank you for sending me the reference link to the complaints
procedures.
Do procedures actually NEED to be adhered to? (rhetorical question)
Your reference is useful - as was emphasised by the Judge in my
first Tribunal hearing, the importance of adhering to the agree
procedures. I could quote you verbatim from the judgement in the
judgement I requested. Unfortunately, as the Judge in my second
Tribunal hearing said,
Judge Cook: Discussion/received. "I pointed out to the respondent
(Blackpool Council) that they would have difficulty in this case in
terms of credibility as they have failed to follow their own
procedure and to have a recording of the Hearing" (They had no
notes or minutes for any meeting)
Judge Sherratt Judgement 8. “The process was not helped by the lack
of any Council minutes which was in breach of the Council’s own
procedure for required notes to be taken and produced”
Interesting, my evidence offered at ET was in audio format, and it
can prove complicit lies, attempts to bully, ageism and a damning
admission by my Manager to change his story if I took my complaints
to a third party. Judge Cook refused to admit the evidence on the
basis that in a meeting with only myself and my Manager (2)
present, I did not declare it, even though it had been done while I
was sick following an operation.
It strikes me that while I followed procedures throughout, the
importance of doing so only seems to be of importance to some
decisions, because in the end Blackpool Council’s
failures did not affect whether my case was won. I now see
procedures as less important
failures did not affect whether my case was won. I now see
procedures as less important thanks to this case.
The Judgement
I did request a copy of the judgement at the end of the EAT. The
fact that I never received a copy until I was sent it as part of my
chase up in 2014 is not just poor, it shows that the systems at the
EAT need to be changed. If neither the issuing and posting, nor the
delivery of important paperwork is acknowledged (which I had
assumed you would show me evidence of) how can you be sure you have
covered your own obligations?
My email of 15th of February 2014 was an attempt to chase up on the
outcome of my EAT - as nothing had been received.
I have a number of refusals following my request for the transcript
(transcript/judgement/record of the appeal hearing - all blend
together). What I expected from the Appeal Tribunal was what I
automatically received from Manchester Tribunals (I did have to ask
for further information following the final judgement as initially
the judgement was a single line in length without any detail). I do
not appreciate being told that I had provided no good reason why
the delay in requesting the judgement in hard copy format.....
because I have done. Again, no, I never received it. I am not
trying to drag this out un-necessarily.
You state "As you were in court when Judge Clark delivered his
judgment, you were aware of its content.” Yes, I was there, but no,
other than the judgement itself, I had no idea of what it might
contain. The judgements from Manchester Tribunals were much more
thorough - almost ‘transcripts” in fact, although clearly not
verbatim. It did, however set out a number of things that helped me
understand why the judgement was as it was - and to be able to see
in formal terms set out WHY, whether I liked it or not. That was
what I expected.
Apologies
No, I had no response to the email (previously) - not even for
further information. I accept the apology, but it joins others,
from both the Manchester Tribunals, including the one relating to
the erroneous destruction of my case files, and added to the
multitude of errors (including one from my Employer at their
appeal) about how I was treated. None seem to have helped me. My
errors are simply in accepting the legal system would fairly accept
that procedures and evidence need to be taken seriously, and that
the system would try to accommodate my desire to keep cost to the
public purse to a minimum.
Apologies really do not help - but thank you anyway.
Pro-Bono
My contact with the pro-bono service was last-minute and while
appreciated, amounted to 20 minutes discussion on the day of the
appeal, and accompaniment in the actual hearing. That was me being
naive again? I would have contacted the service, but as I never had
follow up and a judgement formally, it fell by the wayside.
Thank you for taking a thorough look at my communication.
Following the “I want to complain - What do I do?” EX343 My
complaints are as follows:
1) That in disallowing the audio content I offered to present at my
initial hearing in 2012, and then emphasising the degree of
importance to be placed on procedures (in this case Blackpool
Council’s representatives knowingly dismissed the correct procedure
of making notes and agreeing outcomes fro meetings).
Lack of continuity between cases Blackpool Council were allowed to
ignore specific orders made in the initial hearing. I adhered to
these orders which compromised my position providing the respondent
with information which was not reciprocated.
That in the final judgement 07/05/2013 Judge Sherratt Page 8 point
35: “ I am on balance satisfied it is more likely than not that the
respondent made the same information available to all those holding
H4 roles, including the claimant i.e.......” The only proof is in
the audio recordings. I was deliberately told something different -
I said at the time to appease me. I also have evidence of a threat
made to me not to disclose that offer in discussions with my
professional association.
2) That my evidence and reporting of whistle-blowing about a fraud
impacted the decision to make me redundant. This is now the subject
of an investigation by Auditors from London (ERDF). That
information I brought up regarding the person who actually was
awarded the role I was offered was ignored. He never actually took
up the role and never intended to, leaving the Council to take up a
Directorship with my IT Manager’s then formed external company.
3) That the destruction of files, albeit erroneously, by the
Tribunals has limited my access to evidence and my go some way to
explaining why I have had difficulty in getting answer from the
initial Judgements.
4) The confusion over whether communications were received or sent
at various points, including the failure of the Appeal Tribunal to
ensure I, as the appellant in the case, and with stated
requirements to receive and follow up. I think it an oversight that
I cannot emphasis more pointedly that postal mailings need to be
recorded, or at least acknowledged as received. Several replies
based on “has not given good reasons” could be turned around in
this case. The Appeal Tribunal has not given a good reason why it
does not ENSURE ‘important documents’ are received”.
I have no complaint about the expedience or manner your reply,
however I do have a complaint or two about the service I have
received, and as I set out above. I am not happy about that
service, or any reasons for it contained in your response.
In consideration of loss made as a result of the my complaints, I
have been unable to gain appropriate employment in the area since
2011. This, despite a career without having a break in my
employment, and at a number of senior roles. I am currently
self-employed as a matter of necessity, rather than becoming a
burden on the state.
Please can you pass this to a the relevant EAT Registrar/Senior
Manager.
I am keeping my MP aware of the progress of my issue/s here and I
have had to bring a
I am keeping my MP aware of the progress of my issue/s here and I
have had to bring a
formal complaint to Police attention due to connected issues. You
may understand from this that access to transcripts etc are quite
important.
Yours sincerely,
John Rudkin
45, Folkestone Road Lytham St Annes Lancashire
FY8 3EH
On 28 Jan 2015, at 16:12, EATAssociates <[email address]> wrote:
Dear Mr Rudkin
Your email of 09 January 2015 has been brought to my attention.
Although you have addressed it to Angela Shannon at the Manchester
Employment Tribunal, it deals mostly with issues relating to the
EAT, and I have decided to treat it as a first stage complaint
under the HMCTS complaints procedure, a copy of which may be found
here.
The EAT’s order seal-dated 22 January 2014 was sent to you (and the
respondent) by first class post on that date. First class post is
our normal mode of communication with parties, and we do not have
any record of posting other than the existence of a file copy of
the covering letter. I am unable to offer any explanation as to why
you might not have received it.
Your email of 15 February 2014 was received at the EAT, but it did
not bear the EAT reference of your appeal and unfortunately it was
not linked to your file.
I apologise that we did not respond to that email, however it is
not clear what you were asking the EAT to do, other than to give
you advice. We should have replied that the EAT could not advise
you how to proceed, and that any challenge to the order of 22
January 2014 would have to be by way of appeal to the Court of
Appeal in the terms of the last paragraph of that order.
The procedure for appeals from EAT decisions is set out at
paragraph 25 of the EAT Practice Direction. A copy of the Practice
Direction would have been sent to you with the EAT’s letter dated
20 June 2013. Referring to the Practice Direction, that letter
said: “This is an important document which you should take time to
read and retain for reference for the duration of any proceedings
at this Tribunal.”.
I see that at the hearing before His Honour Judge Peter Clark on 08
January 2014 you had the benefit of pro bono advice and
representation from Ms Wilkinson of counsel. After the judge gave
judgment, she would have been able to advise you about the options
available to you if you wished to pursue the matter further.
You say that you requested a “judicial review”. The only
mention of a “judicial review” in your email of 15 February 2014
was: “I am seeking a judicial review, if possible.”. I do not
consider that to be a request to the EAT to review its decision. A
Judicial Review (in its proper sense) is not available as a route
to appeal a decision of the EAT.
The destruction of your Employment Tribunal (ET) file is a matter
for the ET, however I would like to make it clear that it did not
affect your appeal to the EAT in any way. The EAT holds a separate
file, which has not been destroyed.
Your request for a transcript of the judgment from the hearing on
08 January 2014 has been put before Judge Clark, and refused (the
EAT’s letter dated 08 January 2014 refers). If, as I understand,
you have not appealed the EAT’s decision to the Court of Appeal,
then the production of a transcript seems to be of academic
interest only. As you were in court when Judge Clark delivered his
judgment, you were aware of its content.
As I said at the beginning of this email, I have treated you email
of 09 January 2015 as a formal complaint. If you are not satisfied
with my response, then you may write to the EAT Deputy Registrar by
replying to this email. The Deputy Registrar will review my
handling of your complaint.
Martine Muir
Employment Appeal Tribunal Delivery Manager
Tel: 0207 273 1032
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A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

Yours faithfully,

John Rudkin

J E Garner left an annotation ()

Dear Mr Rudkin
May I suggest you submit a Subject Access Request under the DPA 1998, Section 7 and 35. The MOJ will give you the run around but stick to your facts, and ultimately you will be able to take their refusal (and they will refuse) to the Information Commissioner. You may also like to quote the following case law to support your request: R (oao McIntyre) v Parole Board [2013] EWHC 1969 (Admin) the link is: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admi... In particular at Number 23 of the judgement.
See also on Go Petition website, a petition to abolish the ban on recording proceedings, this is especially important in Employment Tribunal hearings, where there is no official recording, other than the Judges notes. These then become the record of proceedings he is obliged to make in his judicial capacity and to which you are entitled request a copy of, MOJ will refuse, but there is nothing in law to prevent this. petition details are as follows: Go petition, Abolish the ban on recording court proceedings. This petition has been going since August 2011, but only has 330 signatures, it needs to be publicised far and wide. It is not until an individual finds themselves in the position you, and many others are in, that you realise the massive opposition there is to obtaining justice. Recently the Information Commissioner won an important case against the Government, under a FOI request by an individual, who requested the Health Ministers diaries, the Dept of Health had tried to say that they did not "hold" the diaries, however the Judge ruled in ICO favour, saying "an authority cannot evade the requirements of the Act by having information held on its behalf by some other person who is not a public authority!" This will apply to judges notes, the MOJ try to insist that the Judge is the data controller and not MOJ who owns the file. Obviously the judge will not give permission for his notes to be released, particularly if his decision bears no resemblance to the hearing! More of us need to challenge what is going on in the Tribunal System. Notes being destroyed before time is happening and they feel an apology will suffice. That does not help us, whose lives have been blighted by unsubstantiated decisions. I hope this helps and wish you luck.

J E Garner left an annotation ()