The Court of Appeal's long-awaited decision in Harada Ltd (t/a Chequepoint) v Turner has been handed down today (see bulletin 25/11/99 for earlier issues arising in this case).
Harada challenged the tribunal's jurisdiction as the employee worked overseas. They employment tribunal found it had jurisdiction. Harada's appeal to the EAT was dismissed, so it appealed to the Court of Appeal. The merits hearing was listed in the meantime, and Harada unsuccessfully applied to adjourn the merits hearing, then unsuccessfully appealed the refusal to adjourn to both the EAT and the Court of Appeal.
At the full merits hearing, it refused to participate as it said it did not want to be seen as subjecting to the ET's jurisdiction, pending the outcome of the appeal on jurisdiction.
Having lost (badly) on the merits, it appealed the chairman's refusal to grant a review on the basis that it could not have attended for fear of submitting to the jurisdiction. The ET and then the EAT rejected this argument (and the EAT awarded costs against Harada).
The Court of Appeal has, today, dismissed Harada's further appeal. It held that it was:
"nothing short of absurd to suggest that, having failed (before the Morison EAT and Mummery LJ) to stop the merits hearing being listed, and then failed again, once it was listed, to have it adjourned, Harada could conceivably have been held to have submitted to the jurisdiction and thereby abandoned its outstanding appeal against the earlier jurisdictional ruling had it, under continued protest, participated in the merits hearing." (para 35)
It also upheld HHJ Ansell's order for costs in the EAT, holding:
"In my judgment, after considering the facts of this case in some detail, it would have been very surprising had the Ansell EAT not made a costs order against Harada: there had never been any realistic prospect of a successful review application." (para 44)