A nice, discrete human rights point which engages an important aspect of tribunal procedure has been decided by in the EAT (HHJ Ansell) in Hanlon v Kirklees Council.
It is well-known that courts and tribunals cannot order disclosure of a Claimant's / Applicant's medical records, since that would breach the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988.
Thus tribunals routinely order Applicants to consent to disclosure of medical records under the Act, failing which they will stay (or strike out) a claim.
Mr Hanlon refused his consent, arguing it was a breach of his right to respect for privacy under the European Convention of Human Rights.
The EAT, upholding the tribunal's decision to strike out his case, held that the right to respect for privacy must be balanced against a protection for the rights of others - and in litigation, the rights of the other party to have a fair trial must always be important.
Accordingly striking out a case because an Applicant refuses to consent to disclosure of medical records does not offend the right to respect for privacy under the ECHR.
Hanlon v Kirklees Council