by Thomas John CROMPTON
against the United Kingdom
lodged on 20 November 2005
STATEMENT OF FACTS
The applicant, Mr Thomas John Crompton, is a British national who was born in 1954 and lives in Stalybridge, Cheshire.
A. The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows.
In 1989 the applicant joined the Territorial Army (“TA”), as a pay and accounts clerk, carrying out duties such as filing, photocopying and maintaining a stationery store. In July 1993 the applicant was informed that he was to be made redundant, following organisational changes in the TA. He was subsequently informed that the clerical post which he had occupied was to be converted to that of a technical store-man. The applicant applied for this new post, but was informed in February 1994 that he could take it only if he undertook a training course, but that all relevant training courses had been cancelled. He also applied for a number of other clerical posts within the Army but was refused for them all.
The applicant was therefore made redundant. His discharge from the Army, dated 18 February 1994, was formally made, incorrectly, on the basis that his services were no longer required. The applicant later discovered that his former duties were being carried out by an untrained civilian, while the technical store-man post remained vacant.
On 3 May 1994 the applicant complained about his redundancy to the Industrial Tribunal, but his claim was rejected because the Industrial Tribunal did not have jurisdiction over matters involving military personnel.
On 19 December 1994 the applicant claimed redress in respect of his redundancy from his Commanding Officer, under sections 180 and 181 of the Army Act 1955.
On 22 March 1995 the Commanding Officer issued a brief in which he concluded that the applicant had a weak case for redress. He further requested the Army Board to determine whether the applicant was subject to military law. The applicant's solicitors, on 6 December 1996, submitted observations in reply. The matter was then placed before the Army Board.
In January 1998, the applicant applied for judicial review in respect of the Army Board's failure to determine the case within a reasonable time. His application was granted by the High Court on 2 February 1998 and the Army Board was ordered to deal with the case expeditiously.
The Army Board, without holding an oral hearing or directing a Board of Inquiry to be convened, issued its decision on 7 May 1998, refusing the applicant's claim for redress.
The applicant applied for judicial review of the decision not to hold an oral hearing or convene a Board of Inquiry.
On 3 November 1998, while the judicial review application was still pending, the Army Board of the Defence Council directed that a Board of Inquiry should be convened. The Board was convened by an Order dated 10 February 1999. It sat in March 1999, considered oral and documentary evidence, and issued a summary of its factual findings on 6 May 1999.
The Army Board met to reach a determination on 11 April 2001. It issued its decision on 16 July 2001, ordering that the applicant be offered compensation in respect of the failure to offer him alternative employment within the Army.
In November 2001 an offer of settlement was made to the applicant, which he rejected.
On 11 April 2003 the Army Board determined the amount of the award of compensation.
The applicant, acting as a litigant in person, applied for judicial review of this decision, since he claimed that the award had not been properly assessed. Permission was granted on 23 June 2003. On 16 October 2003 the High Court found against the applicant as regards the grounds on which he had applied for judicial review, but nonetheless, since a ground raised by the applicant for the first time at the hearing had merit, it accepted the Army Board's undertaking to reassess the award of compensation within 35 days, and ordered the applicant to pay only half of the Army Board's costs, on the ground also that “the history of this matter displays an inordinate period of delay”.
The Army Board did not comply with its undertaking and the applicant again applied for judicial review on 11 January 2004. There was a hearing on 10 February 2004 but no order was made.
On 26 July 2004 the applicant again applied for judicial review in respect of the delay but again, following a hearing on 10 August 2004, no order was made.
On 19 May 2005, following another application for judicial review, the High Court adjourned the case pending promulgation by the Army Board of its written decision regarding the offer of compensation.
On 24 May 2005 the Army Board issued its decision awarding the applicant compensation of GBP 153,864.47.
The applicant's claim for judicial review was refused on 24 June 2005, on the ground that the Army Board's decision had brought the finality which the applicant had been seeking.
The applicant brought a fresh application for judicial review, on the ground that the award of 24 May 2005 had been incorrectly reached, but this was refused on the papers on 22 September 2005. Following the applicant's renewed application and an oral hearing, the application for permission was again refused on 14 November 2005.
The applicant complains under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention that his claim in respect of his redundancy was neither determined within a reasonable time nor by an independent and impartial tribunal. He further complains under Article 8 that the wrong reason was given for his discharge; under Article 13 that the award of compensation did not take into account his expenses in bringing the claim; and under Article 14 that he has been the victim of discrimination.
QUESTIONS TO THE PARTIES