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Appeal court dismisses claimant’s application for anonymity to conceal her disruptive behaviour at preliminary hearing

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In the case of Ameyaw v Price Waterhouse Coopers Services Ltd Ms Ameyaw presented three claims containing multiple complaints under the Equality Act 2010, of alleged treatment by the Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) during the course of her employment. In the run-up to the Full Merits Hearing, she dis-instructed her solicitors and subsequently retained counsel to represent her at that Hearing on a direct access basis. She made applications to postpone the Hearing, at a Preliminary Hearing twelve days before the first day, and on what was to have been the first day of that Hearing. Both of those applications were refused.

The principal basis of the appeal was that Ms Ameyaw had been deprived of a fair trial, having regard to the decisions on those two particular postponement applications made during the course of the first week of the Hearing and that the ET erred in law in refusing her application under rule 50 of the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure 2013 for an anonymity order. The EAT dismissed all grounds of appeal.

It ruled that the tribunal was right to refuse Ms Ameyaw’s application for an anonymity order and that Article 8 of the ECHR was not engaged. She applied for the contents of an order not to be disclosed to the public because they recorded the disruptive behaviour of her and her mother and was worried it would damage her reputation. The EAT said that although the preliminary hearing was held in private, conduct at a hearing must not be taken to form part of her private life and she had no reasonable expectation of privacy.

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