Liam Ryan appeared in the High Court acting for the Claimant in a landmark stress at work case that is also of constitutional significance.

The Claimant, a serving Circuit Judge brings proceedings against the Ministry of Justice, the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice alleging that she was overworked, bullied and mistreated by senior members of the judiciary in breach of their duty of care owed to her.

In their defence to the claim, all three defendants denied that they owed any duty of care to judges, due to the constitutional position of the judiciary. The Defendants asserted that judges work for the purposes of the administration of justice in accordance with their oaths of office, and in relation to grievances are, effectively, self-governing. The defence stated that, “The separation of powers between the judiciary and the government is… fundamental to the constitution of the United Kingdom”.

Whilst the Defendants deny the Claimants substantive allegations, the government admitted to the court today before Master Eastman that they do owe a duty of care to the Claimant, and are vicariously liable for other judges’ behaviour. A statement given to the court set out that: “If negligence is found on the part of those judges against whom allegations of negligence are pleaded in the particulars of claim, or on the part of the other defendants, then the Crown will be liable to the claimant in damages.”

Liam Ryan was instructed by David Greene of Edwin Coe LLP.


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