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Alex Line successful in appeal concerning email submission of EAT appeals and impact of disability on time limits


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Alex Line successfully represented J before the Court of Appeal in J v (1) K and another and (2) Equality and Human Rights Commission [2019] EWCA Civ 5.

J, a disabled man, sought to lodge an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) by way of email transmission shortly before the expiry of limitation. However, the EAT was not able to accept receipt due to the size of the attachments to his email. J was eventually able to lodge the appeal through a series of emails but, by the time the last was received, the appeal had been lodged out of time by an hour.

Following a hearing before HHJ Hand QC where J also contended that his disability was a contributing cause to his delay in lodging his appeal earlier, J then obtained permission to appeal this decision.

The judgment

It was accepted by the Court that, firstly, the 10MB limit to the EAT’s server (causing J’s first email to be rejected) had prevented the appeal from being lodged in time, and secondly, that the EAT had been wrong to refuse an extension of time on this basis.

The decision of the Court of Appeal is also notable because it considered arguments, including from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, about the correct approach to addressing the impact of disability on a litigant’s ability to comply with procedural time limits. The Court of Appeal provided some general guidance on this issue.

The judgment is available to read here.


Barristers: Alexander Line
Categories: News