The legal events culminating in the Trade Disputes Act primarily consisted of a series of judicial decisions that effectively overturned those aspects of the trade union reforms of the 1870s which it had been thought had rendered it lawful for trade unions to organise industrial action. Whilst the most famous of these decisions was the decision of the Law Lords in the Taff Vale case, the main damage was done by earlier decisions – in particular Quinn v Leathem (1901) and Lyons v Wilkins (1896) - that rendered tortious the organisation of all forms of industrial action and reduced lawful picketing to a purely symbolic act. A tort is a civil wrong rather than a criminal offence, and it is an area of the common law that is made by judges rather than Parliament. The imposition of these legal liabilities was implemented through language that characterised industrial action as conspiracies to engage in law-breaking and an excess of privilege. Taken together these judgments constitute what I have called a process of legal or judicial mystification of industrial relations.
|Publication status||Published - 10 May 2006|
|Event||1906–2006 From the Trade Disputes Act to a Trade Union Freedom Bill - Liverpool|
Duration: 10 May 2006 → …
|Conference||1906–2006 From the Trade Disputes Act to a Trade Union Freedom Bill|
|Period||10/05/06 → …|