IBB Law

Judge: Legal system is a minefield

Judge: Legal system is a minefield

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An employer who was refused permission to appeal a ruling after he was ordered to pay compensation for an unfair dismissal has been told the law is "best kept as far away as possible". David Piper, who owns Plymouth-based restaurant Brentegani's Bistro Ltd, was told by a tribunal to pay former employee Jacqueline Marley £14,777 compensation. She claimed unfair dismissal and disability discrimination at the tribunal. Mr Piper wanted to launch an appeal with the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), but was outside of the six-week deadline. Keen not to let the matter rest, he took the case to the Civil Appeal Court in London. Mr Piper said he had tried lodging the Notice of Appeal in person at the EAT , but the office was closed and there was no letterbox, meaning he would miss the deadline. Lord Justice Mummery, sitting at the Civil Appeal Court, told Mr Piper the time limit to launch the appeal was "generous". And he added Mr Piper had little chance of success in overturning the initial decision. But the judge said he could understand the frustrations experience by the restaurant owner. He said: ""I am sympathetic to all litigants who get caught up in our legal system. The law is best kept as far away as possible; you're best off having nothing to do with it." The judge later told the Times newspaper the legal system is now hard to understand for both judges and the public because of the "torrent" of legislation.