Appeal court judge holds decision over Royal Navy equality ruling

WAIT Jacqueline Cartner
WAIT Jacqueline Cartner
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A FORMER sailor who won a discrimination case against the Royal Navy must wait to hear the outcome of the service’s appeal.

It comes after Chief Petty Officer Jacqueline Cartner, 41, won an employment tribunal against the navy.

A judge ruled that the HMS Collingwood wren, who is now retired from the service, was passed over for promotion to Warrant Officer because she is a woman and had opted not to serve at sea.

The navy is unhappy with the tribunal’s ruling that its promotions procedure is out of date and the Ministry of Defence has taken the case to the Court of Appeal in London.

Appeal court judges yesterday reserved their judgement after a two-day hearing.

Mrs Cartner’s husband, Commander Graham Beard, who is also now retired from the Royal Navy, told The News: ‘Now we just have to wait and see what happens.

‘The court could support her or throw the whole thing away.

‘Or they could also order that another tribunal is held.

‘Jacqueline feels extremely frustrated that she is being dragged back to the courts all the time.

‘The armed forces can’t afford to lose this case.

‘The implications are catastrophic if they lose because it will cost them a small fortune to reform their procedures.’

At the tribunal last year, a judge blasted the navy’s promotions board as ‘primitive’ and called for reform.

The navy appealed the decision last December at the Employment Appeal Tribunal court in London.

But the appeal tribunal judge upheld the opinion that the navy’s promotions procedure discriminated against CPO Cartner because of her non-seagoing status.

The navy then took the case to the Court of Appeal.

It was thought the ruling could open the floodgates to dozens of other claims and potentially cost hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation.

During her time in the service, CPO Cartner was chosen as Nato’s Military Member of the Year in 2000, the first UK woman to receive the award.

She was also made an MBE in 2001.

The appeal case is being heard by Lord Justice Maurice Kay, sitting with Lord Justice Rix and Lord Justice Rimer.