Bhardwaj v FDA & Ors - Unusual circumstances of case arguably caused appearance of bias [2011] EAT

Where three of five named respondents were, or became during the proceedings, lay members of the Employment Tribunals in the same region as the proceedings were being heard, it was at least arguable that there was the appearance of bias.

Ms Bhardwaj joined the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as a prosecutor. She believed that she was being paid a lower salary than other prosecutors and approached her trade union, the FDA, for advice. The FDA told her that, given the CPS's recent track record on employing women and ethnic minorities, there was no basis upon which it could mount a discrimination claim (race or sex) on her behalf. This was not the response Ms Bhardwaj wanted and relations between her and the FDA turned sour. Various incidents followed including her suspension from the union and her FDA role as London Equalities Officer.

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