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Lack of transcripts 'prejudices employment hearings'

Judges’ notes are regarded as the official record and are made available to employment appeal tribunals, but they are seen as private documents and are not available to the parties.

If the judgment that follows a hearing omits substantial elements of oral evidence that support the claimant’s case, the prospects of a successful appeal are hampered without a court record.

'This imbalance irretrievably denies parties the right to prepare adequately an appeal and it is manifestly unfair,' the letter states. Reference to the full record 'is the only way to determine whether the decision made was fair and proper'.

Signatories include Sir Adam Ridley, a former senior civil servant at 10 Downing Street and the pioneering cardiologist Jane Somerville of Imperial College, London.

A spokesperson for the judiciary said: 'The letter has been received and is being reviewed.'

Barrister Sophie Walker, founder of the company Just Transcription, told the Gazette: 'Providing litigants and their legal teams recordings and automated transcripts of the hearing would be a major leap forward for open justice and access to justice.' 

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Source: The Law Society Gazette, 22 March 2022


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