Contact Law blog

Discrimination

University concedes sex discrimination case to male workers

In what is a twist on the traditional assumption in sex discrimination cases, twenty-three men have been successful in their £500,000 claim against a Welsh university.

The men originally worked as tradesmen and caretakers at Swansea Metropolitan University, which merged with the University of Wales Trinity St David (UWTSD).

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Woman sues Health Minister over IVF age discrimination

The Daily Mail reported yesterday that a 37-year-old woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, has issued a legal challenge regarding age discrimination by her local Primary Care Trust (PCT).

In June, the woman was told by the PCT in Berkshire east that she was ‘too old’ to be given fertility treatment on the NHS. She went through a trust appeals procedure twice, but was handed the same decision each time.

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Is it ok to wear religious symbols at work?

Freedom of expression with regard to religion has been in the news again this week.

The Independent reports that two British Christians appeared before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on Monday. They came to press their case for the freedom to wear a cross or crucifix at work, under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
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Mental health sufferers challenge DWP over new benefit system

Last Friday, at a hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice in London, a High Court judge considered whether to grant permission for a judicial review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), regarding its effect on people with mental health problems.

The WCA forms the basis of advice to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), which is responsible for awarding the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) to claimants who cannot work because of illness or disability. The ESA will have replaced Incapacity Benefit by 2014.

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Youngest person to complete a full sex-change competes in Miss England contest

Jackie Green, an 18-year-old from Leeds, has reached the semi-finals of the Miss England competition, to be held later this month. Jackie’s achievement is remarkable because she is the youngest person ever, at 16 years of age, to have a full sex-change operation.

Jackie, originally named Jack by her parents, went through a difficult time growing-up as she always felt uncomfortable as a boy.  Jackie preferred to wear girl’s clothes even in her toddler years, but later on she was bullied at school and became depressed. (more…)

Positive action to increase minorities in top judicial posts

In a recent interview with the Times yesterday, Lord Neuberger, the Master of the Rolls, said that there is not enough diversity at the top of judiciary. To rectify this, he said that active steps needed to be taken so as to increase the presence of women and ethnic minorities.

Lord Neuberger suggested that a change in the constitution of the members making up the top judiciary could be achieved by applying section 159 of the Equality Act. The section allows for ‘positive action’ in relation to recruitment and promotion in England, Wales and Scotland. (more…)

Christian hoteliers who discriminated against gay couple to appeal

Earlier this year, a judge at Bristol county court ruled that hotel owners, Peter and Hazelmary Bull, had acted unlawfully when they did not allow an unmarried gay couple to share a double bedroom. The Bulls appealed the decision, insisting that the ban applied to all unmarried couples, regardless of their sexual orientation. The court of appeal is currently considering the case.

Martyn Hall and his civil partner, Steven Preddy, said that they had been victims of “direct discrimination”, on the ground of their sexual orientation. The Christian Institute is said to be funding the Bulls’ appeal. (more…)

‘Mentally diseased’ comment in Jehovah’s Witness magazine sparks police investigation

It has emerged that the Hampshire police are investigating a comment in the official Jehovah’s Witness magazine, The Watchtower, which calls those who have left the faith “mentally diseased”.

A group of former witnesses, or ‘apostates’ as they are called by the faith, based in Portsmouth complained to the police after reading the article. The police are investigating to determine if the comments breach the UK’s religious hatred laws. (more…)

Supreme Court ruling confirms London as leading centre for international arbitration

A Supreme Court ruling has been widely welcomed by London’s dispute resolution experts as it ensures arbitration remains a distinct alternative to litigation by confirming the parties have a wide discretion to decide how the process will be conducted and, importantly, by whom.

The ruling, which overturned an earlier Court of Appeal decision, means the parties to arbitration can pick their arbitrator using whatever criteria they like, including ethnicity, religion or gender, without the fear of breaching the anti-discrimination laws. (more…)

Court allows woman to challenge ‘racist’ stop-and-search powers

The High Court has granted Ann Roberts, 37, permission to challenge the controversial section 60 power that allows police to stop and search people.

The power has been called ‘racist’ as statistical evidence shows that a vast majority of people who are stopped and searched by police are of African-Caribbean descent. (more…)

Discrimination Image

Discrimination against a person or group of people on the grounds of their gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, race, colour, religion or beliefs, etc is unlawful. The government has legislated widely on the subject to ensure everyone is treated equally under the law in the UK.

In our blog we cover the most recent discrimination cases, following developments in the law and reporting victories for those who have suffered discrimination. Make sure you check it out regularly so you remain up-to-date with discrimination law.

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