Why I Need Your Help?
Cover the costs for legal representation in relation to my claim currently before the European Court of Human Rights.
Cover the cost award made against me by the Employment Tribunal in favour of Ms. Henrietta Hill QC (now known as The Honourable Mrs Justice Hill) to be assessed by the County Court.
Cover the costs for legal representation in relation to my appeal against my dismissal, currently before the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
Decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Concerning my Application
On 12 October 2021 I was notified by my international lawyer that the ECHR had dismissed my application concerning the violation of my right to a fair trial. It was the decision of the ECHR that my application did not meet the admissibility criteria set out in Articles 34 and 35 of the Convention and therefore was inadmissible.
The UK Human Rights Act passed in 1998 incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. This was not directly impacted by Brexit as neither the Convention nor the court are part of the EU. However, the UK Government has made it clear that it intends to overhaul its ties with the ECHR.
It is noteworthy that on 17 October 2021 the Sunday Telegraph reported that the Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said in an interview that the ECHR was imposing too many “obligations on the state”. Furthermore, that he is formulating a mechanism to allow the government to introduce ad hoc legislation to “correct” ECHR judgments when British ministers believe they are not correct. He is reported as stating:
“I don’t think it’s the job of the European Court….to be dictating things to, whether it’s the NHS, whether it is our welfare provision, or whether it’s our police forces”
There was therefore every chance that had the ECHR upheld my application the decision would have been “corrected” by the UK Government in any event.
Although this outcome is disappointing I am pleased that I pursued my claim as far as I could take it and I stand in faith that ultimately this battle is not mine.
My Appeal Before the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) Concerning my Unfair Dismissal
Following a Rule 3(10) hearing on 20 May 2021 the EAT permitted my appeal (against the judgment of Employment Judge Baron dated 13 March 2019 in relation to my unfair dismissal) to proceed to a full appeal hearing on 4 of the remaining 6 Grounds of Appeal lodged. The Order from the EAT also gave me permission to submit an application to the Employment Tribunal for a reconsideration of the same judgment based on new evidence that came to light after Employment Judge Baron’s judgment was published.
The EAT agreed for my appeal to remain stayed until the Employment Tribunal had decided my reconsideration application. On 10 December 2021 the EAT ordered the original Tribunal to provide a response to its Order concerning evidence heard during the original proceedings in relation to Mrs Griffiths’ application of Regulation 5 to my then job role. The Tribunal responses are awaited. On 14 March 2022 I asked for the stay of my appeal to be lifted and I am currently awaiting for my appeal to be listed for a full appeal hearing.
Reconsideration of the Employment Tribunal’s Judgment Concerning my Unfair Dismissal
On 27 May 2021 in accordance with the EAT Order from the Rule 3(10) hearing held on 20 May 2021, I applied to the Employment Tribunal (ET) for a reconsideration of Employment Judge Baron’s judgment in relation to my unfair dismissal. The application was in relation to new evidence being made available after the judgment was published on 13 March 2019. On 3 August 2021 the ET confirmed my application was accepted.
A preliminary hearing took place on 17 January 2022, but I was required to make a complaint to the President of the ET on the same day before I received confirmation on 18 January 2022 that the reconsideration hearing would take place as previously advised on 22 and 23 February 2022. On 23 February EJ Balogun handed down her judgment whereby she refused my application. My appeal against her Judgment was received by the EAT on 15 March 2022 and I await a decision from the EAT.
Detailed Assessment of the Cost Award Against me by the County Court
Following a cost hearing before the Employment Tribunal on 22 March 2018 Employment Judge Spencer by way of her Judgment issued on 1 May 2018, awarded costs against me in favour of Ms. Henrietta Hill QC; now known as The Honourable Mrs Justice Hill. Furthermore, Employment Judge Spencer ordered that a detailed assessment of Ms. Hill’s costs should be undertaken by the County Court given the sums involved.
The detailed assessment hearing scheduled to take place on 16 and 17 September 2021 was postponed, because no Judge was available. The hearing was rescheduled for 28 and 29 March 2022. However, on 14 March 2022 I approached Ms. Hill’s lawyers to seek a settlement out of court because I had no confidence (because of the less favourable treatment I had been subjected to by way of the County Court throughout the cost proceedings), that the County Court would undertake the detailed assessment of Ms. Hill’s costs in a fair and just manner to my detriment. An agreed full and final settlement for the total sum of £125,275 was reached on 22 March 2022. Having paid a deposit of £44,496 on 2 August 2021 I paid the outstanding balance of £80,779 in full on 1 April 2022.
Crowd Fund Donations
As mentioned on my Website I launched my crowd fund appeal to assist me with my costs in relation to (i) my application before the ECHR (ii) the cost award against me in favour of Ms. Hill QC and (iii) for legal representation in relation to my appeal before the EAT.
As of 18 October 2021 I have received £686.40 donations via the GoFundMe platform and £5,943.51 donations from the JustGiving platform.
All the monies has been used to assist with covering the cost of my international lawyer in relation to my application before the ECHR and the monies I was ordered by the County Court to place on account with Ms. Hill QC’s solicitor in advance of the detailed assessment hearing next year in relation to her cost application.
Welcome to my Crowdfund
First and foremost I hope my legal action will bring me justice. I also hope it will ensure that the UK Court and Tribunal System will be required to make changes that will bring you justice too.
I worked for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) NHS Trust for 34 years as a Clinical Biochemist and a senior manager before my unfair dismissal in 2017. From 2004 onwards I also Chaired the local, regional and national Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Networks in a voluntary capacity, the aim and objective being to challenge the institutional racism in BSUH and the NHS more widely, which has blighted the lives of BME staff and BME patients for decades. I am the current Chair for the NHS BME Network.
My campaign for racial justice in the NHS, including my empowerment and defence of numerous BME staff over the years, made me a target; which has resulted in 3 successful Employment Tribunal claims against BSUH twice on merits (2007 and 2018) and the other by way of settlement (2009), for race discrimination and victimisation.
My last 3 Employment Tribunal claims, for discrimination, victimisation, whistle blowing and unfair dismissal were all unsuccessful not because they lacked merit, but rather because of the violations of my right to a fair trial.
For example, Employment Judge (EJ) Baron’s Judgment is misleading when he states that he had “ensured” that neither he nor his lay members had received any evidence, other than what was before them, about my other claim before EJ Bryant QC which was being heard during overlapping periods and had facts in common. When EJ Baron was asked by the Employment Appeal Tribunal about his factually incorrect statement (given that the lay member Ms. Campbell had actually sat on both Tribunals) he admitted he had actually seen Ms. Campbell siting as a lay member on EJ Bryant QC’s Tribunal and had made enquires as to why she was sitting given the ongoing discussions in chambers before his Tribunal. However, he could provide no explanation as to why he included the statement, he had “ensured”…, in his Judgment knowing it to be false. It is a fact that Ms. Campbell sitting on both Tribunals under the circumstances, did indeed adversely impact the integrity and impartiality of the proceedings contrary to Article 6 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
By way of another example, Lord Fairley’s Judgment concerning my full appeal hearing also includes a factually incorrect statement, in that it states that Ms. Cashman’s decision was the ‘primary focus’ of my argument on apparent bias. However, it was not. The transcript from the audio recording of the proceedings shows that Lord Fairley asked my Counsel if his understanding, (that Ms. Cashman’s decision was the primary focus of my argument on apparent bias) was correct and she informed him that his understanding was incorrect. She also informed him that it was entirely her error if she had given him the wrong impression. My Counsel then made it clear to Lord Fairley that the focus of my arguments on apparent bias were as detailed in her written submissions before him and included the fact that Ms. Campbell as a member of EJ Bryant QC’s Tribunal received information about Ms. Henrietta Hill QC’s investigation, into my alleged misconduct, that was not before EJ Baron’s Tribunal. However, Lord Fairley did not include my argument on apparent bias as it relates to Ms. Hill QC’s investigation in his Judgment. Article 6 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights makes clear that it is a violation of the Convention if a Judge refuses to rule independently on an argument which is central to the settlement of the dispute as demonstrated here.
These are just two examples of the violations of my right to a fair trial as set out by Article 6 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Consequently, I had no other option, but to file a claim within the European Court of Human Rights.
Finally, my Employment Tribunal claims have attracted much media attention over the years and therefore in support of my crowdfund appeal I have, for the first time, set out my position in relation to the matters in the public domain. My evidence also details other examples of the violations of my right to a fair trial.
Please donate to my crowdfund as this will enable me to cover my legal costs and secure the best legal representation going forward.
Justice for me is Justice for us.
Dr. Vivienne Lyfar-Cissé