March 24, 2012

Manchester Metropolitan University’s skeletons of institutional racism re-surface

On September 22nd, 2011 we reported on Dr D’Silva’s challenge against his unfair dismissal by MMU and his application for judicial review (see'silva ).

On 27th March, 2012 the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) will consider the following:

a. MMU’s attempt to derail Dr D’Silva’s judicial review by forcing the Employment Tribunal (ET) hearing first. If successful it would render the review meaningless.

b. An appeal against the ET decision made by Judge Sneath. Dr D’ Silva’s main ground of appeal is that Judge Sneath made an adverse finding against Dr D’Silva, that was based on evidence not before the court. This finding was used by MMU in his unfair dismissal hearing.

c. A review of the EAT decision which set aside overthrowing the landmark decision in his 2005 case of Institutional racial discrimination. This review is to be based on deception by MMU that they were not aware of the issues adjudicated by the Judge prior to her decision.

The Council of Ethnic Minority (
) and the Council for Academic Freedom and ( reported the scathing findings of the Manchester Employment Tribunal and its condemnation of the Institutional Racist Culture at MMU under the headship of the then Vice Chancellor, Dame Sandra Burslem.

In a landmark decision in cases no 2409906/03 – 2404779/04 the Manchester ET made findings of racial discrimination against the Vice-Chancellor Dame Sandra Burslem, Professor Barry Plumb Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Maureen O’Neal Pro- Vice Chancellor, Professor Leach Head of Chemistry & Materials, Mr Bill Hallam Human Resources Director, Mr. Peter Gibb Employee Relations Manager and Dr. Julia Dickinson Principal Lecturer in Chemistry. This decision was made in the absence of Dr D’Silva or his witnesses giving evidence to shift the burden of proof. Dr D’Silva at this time was on extended psychiatric leave due to harassment by the University’s management prior to and after his case.

The University’s Counsel, Mr Paul Gilroy.QC, a part time Chairman of the Birmingham Tribunal, despite being presented with no legal opposition and an open goal, failed to make the University’s case against racial discrimination.

Instead of accepting the ET’s black and white finding of racial discrimination, the University’s new Vice Chancellor, Professor John Brooks used the University funds (estimated at £1 million by his UCU representative) to prevent justice from being done by overturning the ET findings in favour of Dr D’Silva. In 2007 Mr Gilroy, MMU’s Counsel appealed the ET decision on the pretext that the case adjudicated by the ET was a different one from that pleaded by the Claimant in his grounds (ET1). Dr D’Silva’s solicitor and Counsel, defending the appeal before the EAT, were disadvantaged, since only Mr Gilroy knew the issues adjudicated by the judge, which they only disclosed recently via case management direction (CMD) documents which they deliberately omitted from the EAT Bundle prepared by them.

As an officer of the court, Mr Gilroy had a duty to ensure justice was done and seen to be done, which is not what he practiced – as can be seen from the case of Lingarten vs BMA in which complaints were raised against him in regard to the conduct of the Tribunal, which was biased in his favour. At the EAT appeal the case was heard by H.H. Judge Clarke, who had already adjudicated other MMU case, such as Rudzki vs MMU, EAT/640/99 with Mr Gilroy as Counsel. He dismissed his an appeal on the grounds that he was not entitled to a second opportunity to make his claim, but Judge Clarke, in Dr D”Silva’s case, tied his Counsel’s hand denying him a disclosure order regarding the issues adjudicated by the ET to prevent Counsel challenging MMU’s assertions. He thus gave MMU a second opportunity to make their case. Judge Clarke then overturned five of the findings that had been in favour of Dr D’Silva and, having dismantled his atomic bomb, of discrimination (removed the critical mass), remitted the sixth issue back to the ET to Judge O’Hara for a re-hearing.

However the judge O’Hara’s impartiality was compromized having being promoted to a full time member of the Manchester tribunal, having previously been used on the basis she was a part-time judge of the Leeds Tribunal, on the basis of bias present in the Manchester Tribunal. The hearing breached the EAT’s orders for the re-hearing and the issues adjudicated were different from those identified by Judge Garnon’s CMD document used in the original hearing used to make the findings of discrimination and the outcome obtained was the dismissal of all findings.

On the 4th May 2010 during disclosure of documents on Dr D’Silva’s new case, the respondents (MMU) provided Judge Garnon’s CMD document from the claimant’s 2005 case which had been withheld from three Counsels acting for Dr D’Silva in his different appeals which elaborated the issues identified by Judge Garnon and used by the Judge in making her findings against the University in its 1995 case. The respondent’s counsel, Mr Gilroy also revealed during an EAT appeal before Judge Richardson that he had spent five days discussing the issues of the case with the judge, having claimed before the EAT that he did not know the issues on which the judge had adjudicated.

The Courts have a duty to make sure justice is done and seen to be done and on the 27th March 2012 they will have to decide whether to allow Dr D’Silva’s review of the EAT decision based on the new evidence of gross deception, or accept the respondents’ defense that the claim is out of time.

Dr D’Silva relies on the Sally Clarke’s case in regard to gross injustice and misconduct. In her case, medical evidence was denied to the court, by the prosecution to progress their case. Time was not an issue then and should not be here.

Those interested in this case should attend the EAT at its new venue at 2-6 Salisbury Square London, EC4Y 8JX - 27th March, 2012

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is not intended as a comment here - but to bring this to your attention for a separate post.

The comments are the interesting part. They show just what an oppressive and toxic place the RMIT is for staff and students. Management treat hard-working staff like shit, kick them in the face, dump them on a whim, and then expect them to smile and be happy.