UNISON lawyer wins major human rights award

Shantha David named Liberty’s lawyer of the year for leading the fight against employment tribunal fees

UNISON legal officer Shantha David has been named Human Rights Lawyer of the Year by the civil rights campaigner Liberty.

Ms David was honoured for her leading role in UNISON’s landmark legal victory last year, when the union successfully defeated the government over its introduction of employment tribunal fees.

This is the latest of a series of awards won by the in-house legal team, for taking and winning the case. Ms David led the litigation for four and a half years, through the High Court and Court of Appeal, before the Supreme Court unanimously found in the union’s favour.

The judges ruled that the fees order was “unlawful”, because it prevented access to justice, and therefore “must be quashed”.