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    Representation at Tribunal Hearings

    In tribunal proceedings, the applicant was being represented by a friend (not legally qualified) who, the tribunal formed the view, was causing delays and clouding the issues. They therefore removed him as a representative, and only allowed him to assist, without taking any further active role. When the applicant lost, she appealed against the removal of her representative. The EAT held the tribunal had the power to do so, under its general ability in Rule 9 to organise its own procedure. On further appeal, the Court of Appeal disagreed. They pointed out that the ETA 1996 s 6(1)(c) gives a right to be represented by “any other person when he desires to represent him”. This was not to be overturned by reliance on the very generalised powers in reg. 9; those could be used to regulate the activities of a representative (particularly in relation to relevancy), but not to bar one completely- “…the statutory right conferred by s. 6(1) was unqualified”. The court went on, however, to find that the barring of the representative had in fact made no difference to the result in this case, and so dismissed the appeal on those grounds. 

    “Harvey on Industrial Relations”