In L v Q Ltd  EWCA Civ 1417, the Court of Appeal was asked to decide whether there was any scope to prevent publication of a judgment on the register. They held that the only reason that would allow for a judgement not to be published would be if the case was a matter national security.
Since February 2017, HM Courts & Tribunals Service launched has published all judgments of Employment Tribunal decisions in an online database.
L brought disability discrimination, harassment and victimisation claims against his employer, Q Ltd. The EAT upheld the tribunal’s orders preventing identification of the parties and witnesses and granting anonymisation. However, it set aside the tribunal’s order that the judgment should not be entered on the register. It held that the judgment should be published on the register with redactions to the extent reasonably necessary to preserve the anonymity of the parties, witnesses and other individuals referred to in the judgment.
The individuals who had been accused of discriminating against the claimant ought to be allowed to see the judgment as a matter of elementary justice and could not be held to be in contempt of court if they discussed the content of the judgment with colleagues.
The EAT had been correct to refuse to make an order redacting from the tribunal and EAT judgments the details of the claimant’s disabilities, the consequences of the disabilities, and an incident that was embarrassing for the claimant. The EAT had correctly ordered for the judgments to be redacted to anonymise the parties, witnesses and individuals mentioned in the claim. To redact further would fundamentally undermine a reader’s understanding of the employment tribunal’s judgment and it was wholly unjustifiable to have judgments censored in that way.
L v Q Ltd  EWCA Civ 1417 (9 August 2019) (Bean LJ, Rose LJ).