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Appeals in employment case dismissed on the basis of appellants’ own conduct

By: Colm Scott Byrne BL

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Court of Appeal dismisses the appellants' appeal of a decision of the High Court awarding damages for breaches of their contract of employment, on the grounds that: (a) the failure of the appellants to participate in any meaningful way in the eight-day trial in the High Court on an assessment of damages, and then appealing the result, where the only successful outcome of that appeal can be to order a rehearing before the High Court, constitutes a serious waste of the court’s time and resources, both at first instance and on appeal; (b) the complete absence of any explanation for the conduct of the appellant means it was open to the court to conclude that the conduct was an abuse of the process of the court; (c) there had been blatant and persistent failures by the appellants to comply with orders of the court; and (d) the conduct of the appellants means that the proportionate response at this stage in the proceedings is in fact to dismiss all of the appeals.

Costello J (nem diss): Application seeking an order pursuant to the inherent jurisdiction of the court dismissing and/or striking out the appellants’ appeal as an abuse of process - appellant had brought appeals in seven related proceedings - whether there has been an abuse of process - whether there continues to be an abuse of process - what is the proportionate response to that abuse - appellants’ behaviour was a calculated abuse of the court’s process rather than a bona fide use of their right of access to the courts - the complete absence of any explanation for the conduct of the appellant means it was open to the court to conclude that the conduct was an abuse of the process of the court - there had been blatant and persistent failures by the appellants to comply with orders of the court - appellants' conduct was designed to delay and frustrate the conduct of the cases of the respondents and the payment of any sums due on foot of court orders whether by way of awards of damages or costs orders - the conduct of the appellants means that the proportionate response at this stage in the proceedings is in fact to dismiss all of the appeals - appeals dismissed.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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