The judge taking a whistleblowing test case on judicial employment rights to the Supreme Court has called for support from the Bar.
Claire Gilham, a district judge who worked at Warrington County Court, has launched a crowdfunding campaign on the website CrowdJustice to help finance her case and overturn an employment tribunal ruling that judges cannot be classed as workers and are therefore not entitled to the whistleblower protections when making disclosures in the public interest.
Gilham raised concerns about overwork, death threats, and the increased violence in courts due to the under-funded justice system. She believes her complaints should be covered by whistleblowing protections, but instead said they resulted in her being bullied, overworked and put under additional stress.
Last year, the Court of Appeal ruled against her, but the Supreme Court granted permission to appeal and the case will be heard later this year.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal brought by the government against an employment tribunal ruling that pension reforms discriminated against younger judges.
Government lawyers had argued that any age discrimination as a result of the changes was ‘justified’. But the Court of Appeal upheld the earlier tribunal ruling, in favour of the age discrimination claim brought by 226 members of the judiciary, including six High Court judges, that the changes meant they were treated ‘less favourably’ because of their age.