Outer Temple Chambers

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Recent case law only highlights the subjective nature of what constitutes breach of contract

Recent case law has confirmed the level of difficulty encountered when attempting to persuade the courts to intervene at an early stage in trust disciplinary proceedings.

That the courts may intervene where it is deemed appropriate was clearly stated in Edwards v Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2011] UKSC 58, in which Lord Dyson said that where an employer starts a disciplinary process in breach of an express term of the employment contract ‘it is open to the employee to seek an injunction to stop the process and/or to seek an appropriate declaration’.

The courts thus retain their supervisory jurisdiction. Where the action complained of is the referral to a disciplinary panel, Lord Justice Pill stated as follows in Skidmore v Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust [2003] ICR 721: ‘I accept that there is a threshold to be crossed, in terms of seriousness, before a decision to refer to a panel can be properly taken.’ …

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The Outer Temple
222 Strand

Silks: 17
Juniors: 59
Head of chambers: Michael Bowes QC, David Westcott QC and Andrew Spink QC
Directors: Christine Kings and Steve Graham
Business development directors: Graham Woods, David Smith and Dave Scothern