December 08, 2014

FUCU case to be revisited by Tribunal today

I just saw the following tweet from the Israel advocacy site, Engage:
Following the link to the article on the site itself I find that:
UCU is in court again today looking to make Ronnie Fraser pay hundreds of thousands of pounds for daring to challenge its antisemitism.

The original tribunal, led by Judge Snelson, found that nothing that ever happened in the UCU was antisemitic and that Fraser was raising the issue of antisemitism in bad faith in order to get an underhand advantage in the Israel/Palestine debate.

The Tribunal didn't actually say that "nothing that ever happened in the UCU was antisemitic" or even "that Fraser was raising the issue of antisemitism in bad faith in order to get an underhand advantage in the Israel/Palestine debate" though, to be sure, there were hints of that throughout the judgement (pdf).

Take a look at the report on the original judgement at the Times Higher Education site:
Mr Fraser, the child of refugees who fled Nazi Germany, is viewed as a “sincere witness”, but the tribunal notes his “political experience” and are not impressed by his claim that the tone of several debates at the UCU’s annual congress “violated his dignity”, thereby constituting harassment......

Scorn is also invoked for Mr Julius’s decision to pursue certain points, with complaints variously dismissed as “palpably groundless”, “obviously hopeless” and “devoid of any merit”.
 It doesn't quite tally with the claim made by Engage's Dr David Hirsh.

Anyway, let's remind ourselves of where we're at with this costs claim.  UCU entered a claim for costs on the grounds that Ronnie Fraser's action was frivolous and vexatious.  Fraser's people argued that the original tribunal members had already indicated where they stood on the question of costs and the original tribunal recused (absented) themselves as their judgement, whilst not taking a position on liability for costs could have been understood that way by others.

So here we have another tribunal to rule on whether UCU or Ronnie Fraser should pick up the tab for what was for the zionist movement a disastrously ill-advised action.

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