chapter  7
20 Pages

Victimisation and contempt of court

ByMichael Connolly

This chapter begins with the relevant legislation and the Miller and Ellis' 'weak' cases. It provides an outline of the relevant principles of contempt of court, and reviews some prominent victimisation cases. The chapter shows how contempt was used to restrict victimisation and explains how it was ignored to fill obvious gaps in the victimisation provisions. It also provides some victimisation cases ought to have been referred for contempt. As if the legislative notion of post-employment victimisation were jinxed, the Equality Act 2010 again omitted it from the provisions, in all likelihood, because of a drafting error. The Cornelius 'distinction' and Derbyshire 'switch' were intellectually dishonest attempts to judge the cases by a notional standard of reasonableness, a standard that has more to do with the law of contempt than the victimisation provisions. Criminal contempt is punishable by a fine and a maximum of two years' imprisonment.