Earlier today, the judge refused to award the costs claimed by Ofsted, Haringey and the Department of Education against Ms Shoesmith on the grounds that:
I did not see this as a plain case where the Claimant could be said to have “lost” in the usually accepted sense of that term.
He went on to criticise Ed Balls and Haringey for the way the dismissal of Ms Shoesmith had been handled saying:
Whilst I endeavoured to express my views on this issue with some circumspection given the possibility of further proceedings taking place before the Employment Tribunal (see paragraphs 517-532 of the judgment), it was, I am sure, plain to everyone that I was not satisfied that the procedures adopted by Haringey at this time gave the appearance of fairness and that, had I felt it my role to do so, I would have granted relief in relation to Haringey’s decision. If one has to talk in terms of “wins” or “losses”, the Claimant “won” on this issue and Haringey “lost”.
That’s judge-speak for saying that, had he been sitting on an employment tribunal, judging only the employment issues, he would have found in Ms Shoesmith’s favour.
He granted Ms Shoesmith leave to appeal against his decision on the judicial review saying:
It is by no means fanciful that the Court of Appeal may differ from my view.
Ms Shoesmith also has a claim lodged with an Employment Tribunal the date for which has yet to be fixed.
As I said right at the start, I can’t see how her sacking can have been within the law. From reading the judge’s comments today, this is not looking good for Ed Balls or Haringey.
The full ruling is here.