Thursday 29 March 2007

The worst case in the world... ever!

"Mr Khan is by some distance the most obdurate, recalcitrant and openly contemptuous party that any of us have ever had to deal with." (ET decision, quoted at para. 8 of the EAT judgment)

For those of us who deal with difficult litigants in person, here's a little case to make you realise life really isn't that bad...

Mr Khan brought a case against Kirklees Borough Council, alleging race and disability discrimination. His claim was ultimately struck out due to his deliberate refusal to attend hearing dates. Here are some of the highlights from the EAT decision (HHJ Ansell):

  • prior to the strike-out, the case spanned 49 days of hearing over four-and-a-half years, largely in blocks of three or four days
  • he made repeated inappropriate allegations against the tribunal and the Respondents, including allegations of racism, and in particular alleged that the tribunal panel were showing "repeated and racial Islamophobic allegiance with the Respondents"
  • the Claimant, having discovered the tribunal chairman was a school governor, made a Freedom of Information Act request to the school for information about the chairman, with a view to embarrassing the chairman
  • when that failed, he issued a free-standing race discrimination claim against the school, with a view to forcing the chairman to stand down due to a conflict of interest.

The summary above doesn't even begin to tell the sorry story of this case. It makes for an interesting read on the train journey home...

Khan v Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council

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