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Complaint to be reconsidered against judge in Christian nurse dismissal case

March 2020

Sarah Kuteh
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A complaint will be ‘reconsidered’ against the judge who oversaw the tribunal case of a Christian nurse dismissed for sharing her faith with patients.

An original complaint against Judge Martin Kurrein was initially dismissed, but following further legal action it will now be ‘reconsidered’.

The complaint has been made by the Christian Legal Centre, which supported nurse Sarah Kuteh throughout her case.

The nurse was fired for ‘inappropriately’ sharing her faith with patients. Judge Kurrein found the nurse’s dismissal to have been ‘fair’ and that finding was upheld on appeal.

But the complaint relates to the conduct of Judge Kurrein during the initial tribunal hearing. The Christian Legal Centre alleges that he had been ‘conspicuously hostile to Mrs Kuteh and her representative throughout the hearing’.

In the complaint, CLC Chief Executive Andrea Williams said that Judge Kurrein had disrupted submissions by Mrs Kuteh’s lawyer, Pavel Stroilov, and his cross-examination of witnesses, with ‘extravagantly frequent interventions’.

The complaint also alleges that Judge Kurrein made an unwarranted personal attack against Mr Stroilov in his written judgement published after the trial.

The complaint was initially rejected by the President of the Employment Tribunals and the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman, but the CLC and Mr Stroilov challenged the outcome in a High Court claim for judicial review.

As a result, Judge Brian Doyle, the president of the employment tribunals in England and Wales, agreed at the end of January this year to reconsider his decision to dismiss the complaint about Judge Kurrein’s conduct.