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on 17 June 2012
As Prof. Simon Deakin states in his own review of this important book, it is time to call a halt once and for all on the simplistic, illogical and above all, misinformed illusions that suggest that employment rights, fairness at work and, frankly, social justice somehow constitute an intolerable burden on businesses.

While (with undue modesty) the preface suggests that this is not a 'text book', and that it is as much about politics, history and sociology as the law, it should, however, be ESSENTIAL reading for any student, academic or practitioner in the field of employment law - perhaps also for those very reasons.

Unfortunately, the received practice in many law schools is to teach Employment law as though Employment Tribunals were a normal, readily accessible route (perhaps with the additional, benign intervention of ACAS) for obtaining just remedy for problems arising in the course of the employment relationship (unfair dismissal, equal pay, discrimination, etc.) within a fully functioning and transparent jurisprudential mechanism.

As Prof. Hugh Collins also comments elsewhere, it is, however, a profound mistake to imagine that the case law of employment tribunals or employment appeal tribunals is the 'whole story' of employment law disputes and injustices, or even representative of the kind of issues that arise. It is in fact the tip of the iceberg.

The 'justice' of the employment tribunal, above all, for successful applicants, almost never entails reinstatement in their jobs, and the financial compensation, given the considerable trauma of loss of employment, as against the very low median levels of awards, for someone facing loss of income, domestic upheaval, and perhaps also the end of their career - especially in the current economic climate, generally amounts to little, or probably only token justice or redress in real, practical terms.

From the point of view of the "shadow of the law", this book goes to heart of what is wrong with the processes, the issues of access to justice generally, why this protection is particularly (and even more) under threat now, the origins of the 'employment tribunal' and the detail of what exactly needs to be fixed.

Make no mistake, this is an important work of scholarship for Employment lawyers but which also deals, as any such work should, with the inextricably related concept of social justice, and its enormous importance for social, political and economic policies.

At the time of the Beecroft Report and current trends in government-led policies in this domain, our law-makers really need to read this work, take note and take action.

There is also much to be considered regarding objective standards and quality of management and corporate governance. Quis custodiet ispos custodes? This book asks, and, to a large extent also answers, all of these questions. From the practical point of view of employment law in crisis, no academic or practitioner in the field can possibly be happy with the current state of affairs.

Further authority and insight is clearly contributed from David Renton's background as both a former professor of history and sociology, and currently as a barrister with Garden Court Chambers.

I recommend this book unreservedly.
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on 23 June 2012
There are few books on dispute resolution and the employment tribunal system written sympathetically for the worker's perspective, so this fills a major gap. It is not written in 'legal-ese' and is not intended for a specialist law audience. The author, a barrister who has worked for trade unions, explains vividly how and why the individual rights-based employment tribunal model is of such limited use and effectiveness to ordinary workers, especially in more complex types of cases. He uncovers the assumptions behind employment law, the way the tribunal system works, and the way employers and their lawyers use it, which combine to ensure that justice is rarely achieved and, if it is, it turns out pretty hollow, time-consuming and expensive. David Renton's main point is that litigation is a poor substitute in achieving results for workers compared to strong workplace organisation. And this is even before the Coalition's planned reforms to tilt the balance of the ET system even further towards employers, on which Renton also pronounces judgment. Would-be litigants should read this BEFORE they put in the ET1: it's not necessarily that they shouldn't use the law, and there are some good tips on bear-traps to avoid in this book, but they should go in with their eyes open.
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on 7 September 2012
Employment Tribunals have been central in resolving workplace disputes for over 40 years. They have been used by successful governments to implement their business and employment legislative agendas, resulting in accusations from all parties involved of being a barrier to justice for both employers and employees.
Employment Tribunals are now very complex which, as David Renton methodologically explains, is not what they were originally established to be. The book is useful from an academic perspective, contextualising the historical and present day set up of tribunals and from a practical perspective through explaining how the tribunal system actually works.
David has the benefit of being both an academic and practicing Barrister which has enabled him to produce a superb description, explanation and critical analysis of employment tribunals. There are numerous employment law books covering this topic area, however Struck Out is an essential text for students, academics, representatives and anyone who is interested in this very topical aspect to both the legal profession and the workplace.
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on 27 March 2013
Excellent book. Very well written and well argued. Totally convincing. Only thing missing is latest changes in tribunal rules, though these only serve to strengthen Renton's argument.
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on 1 April 2015
Excellent delivery time, item as described would recommend.
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on 18 April 2016
Great informative book great service at good value
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on 7 April 2013
The law is not our friend.

The Webbs state that the law is the most durable of protections for the worker, but the difficulty of achieving legislative changes and the often watered-down nature of the outcome “the minimum which in the light of all the evidence, seems indispensable to avert the grossest of the evil” (Webb and Webb, 1897, p254) show that trade unionsts who rely on the law alone fall into the deepest of traps.

I'm often been faced with union members who say: "They can't do THAT, can they Dave?" and it is tempting to say "What do you mean? They've DONE it haven't they?" Employers break the law every day and why shouldn't they? If taken to a tribunal, losing only means paying up what they might have saved by ignoring the law in first place. There is little if anything in the way of a punishment for the employer, only the barest of recompence for the employee (and much of this is never paid).

Dave Renton argues that the best use of the law is by organising groups of worker who "know their rights". Management do not like groups of organised workers saying "The law says you can't do this and we're NOT going to let it happen" and being advised by their solicitors "You know what? Theyre RIGHT."

A great read and a wake up call. Dave Renton also blogs on employment law (google for him)
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on 7 March 2015
Excellent transaction, item as described, quick delivery. Thank you.
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