• Robert Spicer

Employment tribunal restricted reporting order: right to private life


Restricted reporting order

Right to private life

Case Fallows and others v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2016] ICR 801, EAT

Facts F complained of unfair dismissal and sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct. The employer applied for a restricted reporting and anonymity order. This was refused and the employer appealed. The respondent newspaper group intervened because it wished to report the proceedings without restriction. The employment judge made an order restricting reporting pending the appeal. The claimant’s claims were settled and withdrawn. The newspaper group argued that the restricted reporting order no longer had effect. The employment judge revoked the order. The claimant and the employer appealed to the EAT.

Decision 1. The appeal was dismissed.

  1. Anyone with a legitimate interest was entitled to apply for the discharge of a restricted reporting order. There was no time limit for this.

  2. The question for the employment judge was whether there was a sufficient public interest in maintaining the open justice principle and right to freedom of expression to justify the resulting curtailment of the right to private and family life. The judge had been entitled to conclude that no privacy order was justified.

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