Tuesday 2 March 2004

New EAT Decision

Dennis Wise v Leicester City Football Club
(24th February 2004, HHJ Peter Clark)

Dennis Wise was dismissed from Leicester City FC following a fight with a teammate. The original disciplinary hearing was unfair. At his first-tier appeal, which was a full rehearing chaired by a Court of Appeal judge, he was reinstated. However, the second-tier appeal (the appeal having now been brought by the football club), which was a review, overturned the first-tier appeal and confirmed the original dismissal decision.

The employment tribunal held the dismissal was fair, because the first-tier appeal (being a re-hearing) cured the procedural defects of the original decision. However, the EAT disagreed and substituted a finding of unfair dismissal. They held that the first-tier appeal, since it did not uphold the original decision, was not capable of curing its procedural defects. The second-tier appeal, being a review hearing only, was likewise not capable of curing the procedural defects of the original hearing (even though it did uphold the original decision). Accordingly the dismissal was unfair.

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