Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Judicial Proceedings Immunity

Thanks to Rad Kohanzad of Serjeants’ Inn Chambers for preparing this case summary
Is the improper action of placing undue pressure on a witness to produce a witness statement during proceedings subject to judicial proceedings immunity?

No, says the Court of Appeal in Singh v Morlands Primary School.

Whilst still employed, the Ms Singh brought a discrimination claim against her employer. Upon exchange of witness statements, she resigned claiming that the School had forced a particular witness to provide a statement of 'untruths', which she said amounted to a breach of trust and confidence.
In finding that Ms Singh could rely on such conduct in bringing her constructive dismissal claim, the Court of Appeal distinguished false evidence given in a witness statement, which is the subject of judicial proceedings immunity, from placing undue pressure on a witness to produce the witness statement, which is not. The latter conduct could give rise to a breach of trust and confidence, although the former could not.

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