Right-wing former Unite general secretary challenger Gerard Coyne’s humiliating defeat in his attempt to overturn the result of last year’s election – the Certification Officer (CO), retired judge Jeffrey Burke threw it out as ‘unreasonable’ – has not discouraged him from prolonging his attempt.
As the SKWAWKBOX predicted on the day the decision was announced, Coyne has lodged an appeal with the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) to try to overturn it.
The EAT office told the SKWAWKBOX that Coyne’s legal team has requested an ‘expedited’ resolution of the appeal, in order to have the appeal decided before the Certification Officer hearing recommences to consider the remaining points of Coyne’s complaint – and that a decision on whether to throw it out or to allow a full hearing on it should be made early next week at the latest.
A Unite source told this blog:
We expect him to get a full hearing because of the nature of the matter, but we were strong before the CO hearing and obviously much stronger after it.
Jeffrey Burke, the CO, is a retired QC and High Court judge of the highest standing and his judgment is well reasoned, precise, legally sound and very clear.
Coyne’s social media after the initial CO hearings attempted to project a confidence about the outcome that proved to be entirely ill-founded. In his reaction on Facebook to the CO’s judgment – to which he also eventually pointed his Twitter followers – he sees fit to criticise the highly-qualified and -regarded retired judge’s logic and grasp of the significance of the facts:
Jeffrey Burke deliberated on the evidence for well over a month before issuing his decision.
Burke, after well over a month of deliberation, put together a twelve-page document laying out in detail his reasons for deciding that the ‘fixed term’ had been rendered obsolete by incumbent Len McCluskey’s tendered notice of intent to resign creating a vacancy.
But ‘it seems to’ Gerard Coyne that he ‘didn’t give enough weight’ to one of the most central issues in the dispute.
The remaining points of Coyne’s complaint not only previously been rejected by the Returning Officer, the Election Commissioner and a judge, but were found in large part to reflect Coyne’s own conduct during the election.
His rather desperate-seeming determination to pursue the first point decided by the CO may therefore reflect an awareness of the likelihood of the feebleness of what remains on his complaint list.
Given Coyne’s remarkably unimpressive performance during the CO hearing and the eminent standing of Jeffrey Burke, Coyne’s attempts to criticise, in his Facebook pronouncement, the grounds for Burke’s decision are excruciating.
But who is paying for all this dead-horse flogging?
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