Appeal judge overturns employment tribunal verdict after judge falls asleep

In March 2018 during the hearing of a victimization claim against the Science Museum Group, Employment Judge Paul Stewart twice fell asleep whilst the claimant was being cross-examined.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal found that Judge Stewart “fell fully asleep not once but twice” while the claimant was being cross-examined. It was heard that the judge ‘appeared to lose consciousness entirely’ despite lawyers raising their voices and banging cups on their desks.

Tom Brown of Cloisters represented the Science Museum Group on appeal. Employment Appeal Tribunal Judge Auerbach has ordered the case to be reheard. He said: ‘In all the circumstances, a fair-minded informed observer would conclude that there was a real possibility that the fairness of the hearing was affected.’

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