The Latest from Cloisters

News, Publications, Policies, Events and Blogs

Cloisters' John Horan on panel for Oxford Disability Moot 2018

Celebrating the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage: What more needs to be done to improve the enfranchisement and representation of disabled people in British Politics and the Legal Profession? Organised by the Oxford Law Faculty 5pm, Saturday 10th November 2018 John Horan will sit on the panel along with Jane Burton; Debbie Foster; Damian Haywood ...
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The Hamlyn Lecture 2018. The Newest Problem: Making a Fair Comparison across all Ages, Robin Allen QC

The Hamlyn Lecture 2018 'The Newest Problem: Making a Fair Comparison across all Ages. Robin Allen QC Tuesday 23rd October, 17:30 Queen's University Belfast, School of Law Moot Court The first of three lectures under the title 'Why is equality so difficult?' Watch the full lecture  here .

Chris Milsom to appear in Court of Appeal in landmark case

Specialist employment and equality law barrister  Chris Milsom will appear in the court of appeal this week. He acts for a disabled student seeking a reappraisal of council tax Regulations which fail to recognise hours of study provided by way of reasonable adjustments. Students enrolled on courses which “normally require” at least 21 hours of...
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AI Justice: Artificial intelligence decision-making and the law

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On Tuesday 16th October 2018  Robin Allen QC and Dee Masters  delivered the session 'AI Justice: Artificial intelligence decision-making and the law' at the Public Law Project’s annual Judicial Review Trends and Forecasts conference . The talk covered concerns about the introduction of AI technologies into decision-making proces...
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The Icing on the cake: Now the tit for tat starts

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In this blog Daphne Romney QC further considers the Supreme Court judgment in Lee v Ashers Baking Co. Ltd. Last week, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in Lee v Ashers Baking Co. Ltd. in which it held that the bakery had not discriminated against a customer on grounds of sexual orientation, or religion or belief, in refusing to bake him a cake...
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The Bullying and Harassment of House of Commons Staff: Independent Inquiry Report

THE BULLYING AND HARASSMENT OF HOUSE OF COMMONS STAFF INDEPENDENT INQUIRY REPORT DAME LAURA COX DBE Download the report here

Daphne Romney QC considers the Supreme Court’s judgment in Lee v Ashers Baking Company Ltd and others

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The Supreme Court has upheld the appeal from Ashers a Northern Irish bakery and its owners, Mr and Mrs McArthur; they had refused to bake a cake with the message “Support Gay Marriage”. The Court held unanimously that the bakery had neither discriminated against Gareth Lee on the grounds of sexual orientation nor political belief; in any event, to ...
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Judgment Analysis: Jay v Secretary of State for Justice

Cloisters’ pupil, Catherine Meenan, examines the High Court’s decision to allow the appeal brought under the Gender Recognition Act 2004 in Jay v Secretary of State for Justice. Cloisters'  Claire McCann   acts for Ms M Jay, a trans woman who had her application for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) denied by the Gender Recognition P...
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Excluding children with a tendency towards physical abuse and the EA 2010

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Catherine Casserley discusses C & C v the Governing Body of a School, The Secretary of State for Education (First Interested Part) and the National Autistic Society (Second Interested Party) (SEN) [2018] UKUT 269 , a judgment of the Upper Tribunal in which it was held that the exclusion of those with a tendency to physical abuse from the defini...
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Gender Recognition and Trans Equality

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With trans headlines constantly in the news,  Claire McCann  examines the law on trans rights and the dangers of misinformed debate in this month's edition of Counsel Magazine. Read full article here.

“No DSS”: Can landlords and letting agents lawfully bar benefits tenants?

Rachel-Crasnow
Private landlords and letting agents frequently advertise their properties stating that they will not rent to housing benefit tenants (for some outdated reason, still often referred to as “DSS” tenants). This causes real difficulties to such tenants whose housing choices are restricted. In this blog, Rachel Crasnow QC considers the legality of such...
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Algorithms, apps & artificial intelligence 2: Can data protection laws be used to challenge discriminatory tech?

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New paper from Cloisters’ Robin Allen QC and Dee Masters examining discriminatory technology. In our first piece , which we initially published in November 2017, we explored the interplay between technology and the Equality Act 2010 (‘ EA 2010 ’) concluding that algorithms, apps and artificial intelligence (‘ AI ’) have the potential to give rise t...
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New paper from Robin Allen QC and Dee Masters: Algorithms, Apps & Artificial Intelligence

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Since publishing their popular blog  Algorithms, Apps & Artificial Intelligence:  The next frontier in discrimination law , Robin Allen QC and Dee Masters have had many enquiries and follow ups both here in the UK and Europe. Yesterday, Wednesday 4th July 2018, they delivered a talk of the same name to the Discrimination Law Asso...
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Religion or belief and GORs. Bumper CJEU Round-Up, Part 2

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In the second part of this two-part blog, Cloisters’  Schona Jolly QC  and  Sarah Fraser Butlin  look at important new developments from the CJEU on the genuine occupational requirement in the context of religion or belief discrimination in the Framework Directive. When does a requirement to profess a faith, or to follow a parti...
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A new dawn for the Charter? Bumper CJEU Round-Up,  Part 1

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In a two-part blog, Cloisters’ Schona Jolly QC and Sarah Fraser Butlin look at important new developments from the CJEU on the Charter of Fundamental Rights, religion or belief discrimination and working time. It’s been something of a bumper few weeks at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg (‘CJEU’) where an expansive use of the Charter of F...
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Algorithms, Apps and Artificial Intelligence: The Next Frontier in Discrimination Law?

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Wednesday 4 July 2018 from 18:00 to 19:30 Robin Allen QC and Dee Masters will jointly deliver a talk on the interplay between technology and discrimination law at an upcoming Practioner Group Meeting at the Discrimination Law Association.  Following the popularity of the their Algorithms, Apps and Artifical Intelligence blog, Robin and Dee wil...
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Catherine Casserley instructed for severely disabled boy suing theme park

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Specialist equality and discrimination barrister Catherine Casserley is instructed for 11 year old Adam George, a severely disabled boy who is suing Flambards Theme Park, in Cornwall for failing to provide a suitable 'changing places' lavatory.  It is the first case involving the 'Changing Places' campaign, which is trying to get service provi...
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Catherine Casserley represents 11 year old Ben Gleeson in £42,000 disability discrimination claim

Catherine Casserley  represented Ben Gleeson and his family after Ben was told by his scout group that he could not go to camp or take part in athletics without supervision. Scout pack leaders said Ben could not travel with the rest of the group on a bus to events or participate in athletics. They also said he had to have one-to-one super...
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Reflecting on International Women's Day: A view from Cloisters by Rachel Crasnow QC

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2017 - 2018 has been a time of great change for gender politics worldwide. The #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns look to run and run: this affects all our workplaces.  The gender pay gap and its complex causes are part of our working lives at Cloisters as well; from the cases that myself and my colleagues have lent our expertise to for both sides,...
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The end of the ‘sex taint’ argument in equal pay: McNeil v Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs

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Robin Allen QC and Anna Beale consider the implications of the EAT’s decision in McNeil v Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs [ 1] , one of the first appellate cases to consider what is required to show “particular disadvantage” in an equal pay claim based on indirect discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. Previous formulations of the tes...
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New paper 'Discrimination Law in 2018' by Robin Allen QC

Robin Allen QC has released a new paper entitled: Discrimination Law 2018. In his new paper, Robin discusses new cases concerning Sexual Orientation and Religion or Belief as well as Transgender rights particularly in relation to marriage. He explains that radical social changes are occuring as a result of the prohibition on both sexual orientation...
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Job interviews “ripe territory” for maternity discrimination.

Job interviews “ripe territory” for maternity discrimination.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has today published a new study revealing the extent of maternity and pregnancy discrimination in recruitment. Showing that many businesses’ attitudes are decades behind the law, the survey of 1,106 senior decision makers in business found around a third (36%) of private sector employers agree that it is rea...
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ELA - Disability discrimination, how key concepts have been clarified in the last year

Tuesday 27 February, 6:30 - 7:30pm Venue: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, 65 Fleet St, London EC4Y 1HT Speakers: Catherine Casserley , Cloisters and Karen Jackson, didlaw. Specialist equality, discrimination, employment and human rights barrister Catherine Casserley will speak at an upcoming Employment Lawyers Association event. The evening session...
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Disability in the Legal Professions

Tuesday 27 February, 6.30pm, 39 Essex Chambers, 81 Chancery Lane London Diversity in the legal professions is often discussed and debated. The deliberations of race, gender and social class equality, however, often omit disability. The purpose of this event is to raise awareness of the steps needed to ensure that disabled people can acces...
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Catherine Casserley instructed in Little Mix sign language row.

Catherine Casserley , an expert in disability discrimination is instructed for a deaf mother who is suing Little Mix promoter in sign language argument.  In order that she could fully access the performance, Sally Reynolds asked the organisers of a Little Mix concert, LHG Live, to provide a British Sign Language interpreter. Under the Equality...
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Algorithms, Apps & Artificial Intelligence: The Next Frontier in Discrimination Law?

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Robin Allen QC and Dee Masters from Cloisters consider the interplay between technology and discrimination law in this article. Overview How often does the media depict the relentless increase in technology as a danger to our  health , our  children  and our  security ?  More recently, commentators have started to identify ...
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Denial of UK State Pension to Transgender Pensioner Constitutes Direct Sex Discrimination

Denial of UK State Pension to male-to-female trans pensioner without a Gender Recognition Certificate constitutes direct sex discrimination contrary to EU Directive 79/7. In MB v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions , Advocate General Bobek considers that the requirement for a trans pensioner to be unmarried in order to qualify for a state pe...
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Is gender segregation in education discriminatory?

Is gender segregation in education discriminatory?
Rachel Barrett and Chris Milsom discuss the recent case of Interim Executive Board of X School v Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills [2016] EWHC 2813 (Admin) in this blog. A copy of the judgment is available here . Many of us might instinctively think that the answer to the opening question would be ‘yes’. After all, in 201...
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Housing, Race and the Right to Rent post Brexit

Tom Gillie and Declan O'Dempsey  explain how private landlords can avoid harassment and indirect discrimination on grounds of race when applying their right to rent duties. Provided proper caution is used in relation to making Right to Rent checks, there is no reason why tenants from diverse backgrounds, including EU, EEA and EFTA nationals, s...
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The Conseil d’État in France has recently overturned a ban on “burkinis”: Is French secularism now under attack?

The Conseil d’État in France has recently overturned a ban on “burkinis”: Is French secularism now under attack? Dee Masters , Cloisters This article argues that the recent decision of the Conseil d’État concerning the ban on “burkinis” will have very little impact on the interplay between secularism, religious freedom and the principle of non-disc...
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Prevent Duty Part 4: Practical operation of a “due regard” duty: lessons from the Equality Act 2010 for the application of the Prevent Duty by universities

Prevent Duty Part 4:  Practical operation of a “due regard” duty:  lessons from the Equality Act 2010 for the application of the Prevent Duty by universities
In his fourth article on Prevent Duty Declan O'Dempsey  looks at the similarities between the Prevent Duty to have due regard and consider what the practical application of that duty to have due regard will look like in the light of the existing body of case law on the analogous s 149 of the Equality Act 2010. The duty under section 149 Equali...
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Race Discrimination and Housing in post-Brexit Britain

Race Discrimination and Housing in post-Brexit Britain
In this article  Catherine Casserley and Tom Gillie  consider race discrimination in housing and, in particular, the obligations that landlords have not to discriminate themselves and to take action when their tenants are experiencing discrimination and harassment by other tenants. The reported racist incidents have surged since the ...
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Age Discrimination in the light of CJEU case law

Age Discrimination in the light of
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Declan O’Dempsey provides an up-to-date overview of the Court of Justice’s evolving body of case law on age discrimination in the employment field in the latest issue of the European Equality Law Review .  This publication covers the European Economic Area and European Free Trade Association (EFTA). It provides an overview of the latest l...
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A part of inclusion? Disabled people and the right to a fair hearing

A part of inclusion? Disabled people and the right to a fair hearing
John Horan considers two recent cases that highlighted particular difficulties that disabled people face in obtaining a fair hearing before the courts.  Both cases ( Rackham v NHS Professionals Ltd and  Galo v Bombardier Aerospace UK )   provide a common-sense framework of considerations which a court or tribunal must bear in mi...
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Government responds to Women & Equalities Select Committee Report on Transgender Equality

Government responds to Women & Equalities Select Committee Report on Transgender Equality
The House of Commons’ Women and Equalities Select Committee was appointed on 3 June 2015.  The Committee announced its first inquiry shortly thereafter into transgender equality, looking at a range of outstanding issues for the trans community and considering how they could most effectively be addressed.  Six Ministers gave evidence to th...
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Disappointment for victims of trafficking

Disappointment for victims of trafficking
Schona Jolly considers what comes next after the Supreme Court rejects the race discrimination claim in Taiwo v Olaigbe and Onu v Akwiwu “The mistreatment of migrant domestic workers by employers who exploit their employees’ vulnerable situation is clearly wrong”, stated Lady Hale at the start of a judgment which will come as a real disappointment ...
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Brexit and Mrs Webb: Return of the sick man versus pregnant woman?

Brexit and Mrs Webb: Return of the sick man versus pregnant woman?
By Rachel Crasnow QC The EU widened the scope of protection against gender discrimination considerably. Advancements have included protection relating to equal pay, paid time off for antenatal appointments, pregnancy discrimination, parental leave and urgent time off for family reasons, paid maternity leave and the right to equal treatment for part...
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CJEU confirms that certain retirement schemes can discriminate on the grounds of age

CJEU confirms that certain retirement schemes can discriminate on the grounds of age
Dee Masters considers the CJEU’s judgment in C-159/15 Lesar v Telekom Austria AG published on 16 June 2016.  It confirms that employer-run retirement schemes, which completely replace rather than supplement any government benefits related to retirement, can freely discriminate on the grounds of age in relation to entry and exit. Factual backgr...
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Samira Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions NV: a dangerous new concept of direct discrimination

Samira Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions NV: a dangerous new concept of direct discrimination
Declan O’Dempsey considers the opinion of the Advocate General in Case C-157/15 Samira Achbita and Centrum voor gelijkheid van kansen en voor racismebestrijding v G4S Secure Solutions NV . Overview Principles of law should be designed from behind a “veil of ignorance”, not standing on the ramparts of Fortress Europe.  The Advocate General (AG)...
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Supreme Court hears wheelchair user Paulley’s landmark appeal against bus company

Supreme Court hears wheelchair user Paulley’s landmark appeal against bus company
The Supreme Court heard today why bus companies must ensure that wheelchair users like Mr Doug Paulley (represented by Cloisters’ barristers Robin Allen QC and Catherine Casserley ) must have priority in using wheelchair spaces and why bus companies must end ‘first come, first serve’ policies. Facts In February 2012, wheelchair user Mr Paulley trie...
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Challenging stereotypical assumptions: age discrimination and student loans

Challenging stereotypical assumptions: age discrimination and student loans
by Dee Masters The Court of Session has recently handed down a decision which highlights the importance of public bodies reassessing assumptions concerning older people so as to ensure that they are not acting in a way which is discriminatory. In Scotland, student loans, which cover living expenses during periods of study, are only available to peo...
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Reasonable adjustments: exercising the right to be heard

Reasonable adjustments: exercising the right to be heard
John Horan considers a decision concerning the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Equal treatment bench book, and the lessons that can be learned from it by the lawyers of disabled people seeking to use tribunals and courts in this country. In Rackham v NHS Professionals Limited UKEAT/0110/15 , 16 December ...
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Daphne Romney QC acts for former police Head of Legal in sex and disability discrimination case

Daphne Romney QC acts for former police Head of Legal in sex and disability discrimination case
Daphne Romney QC is acting for the former Head of Legal Services at Northumbria Police force in a high profile unfair dismissal case Denise Aubrey v Northumbria Police . The claimant, Denise Aubrey, was sacked for gross misconduct from the force she had worked at for 20 years following allegations that she had leaked information about an affair bet...
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EU anti-discrimination law: ten "easy" steps to disapplying inconsistent national provisions

EU anti-discrimination law: ten "easy" steps to disapplying inconsistent national provisions
Anna Beale looks at recent guidance from the CJEU in the context of age discriminatory provisions of Danish domestic law in Rasmussen . A constant theme in EU law is the extent to which EU provisions can be relied upon by domestic courts to interpret or disapply domestic law.  The case of Dansk Industri v Estate of Karsten Eigil Rasmussen ( C-...
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Cloisters sponsors conference to discuss the ‘Lords Report on Disability and the Equality Act: Turning Recommendations into Reality’

Cloisters sponsors conference to discuss the ‘Lords Report on Disability and the Equality Act: Turning Recommendations into Reality’
Cloisters is proud to co-sponsor the conference to discuss the ‘ Lords Report on Disability and the Equality Act:Turning Recommendations into Reality ’ on 27 April 2016 at the Max Nasatyr Room, Third Floor Suite, Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre, 108 Stamford Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9NH. This timely event, co-organised by Catherin...
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House of Lords Select Committee condemns Equality Act’s failures to secure equality for disabled people

House of Lords Select Committee condemns Equality Act’s failures to secure equality for disabled people
On 24 March 2016, the House of Lords’ Select Committee published its report on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability entitled “The Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people” . Catherine Casserley acted as the Select Committee’s specialist adviser for the Report. She has appeared in a number of the cases referred to in the Report and obtained ...
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Robin Allen QC and Jonathan Mitchell QC secure major victory for 6,500 women in equal pay dispute worth £100m

Robin Allen QC and Jonathan Mitchell QC secure major victory for 6,500 women in equal pay dispute worth £100m
Robin Allen QC and Jonathan Mitchell QC successfully acted for thousands of women workers in a long-standing equal pay dispute against Glasgow City Council. Around 6,500 women are now expected to share a substantial pay deal worth up to £100 million. The decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in J MacDonald & Others v Glasgow City Council &...
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Extension of Right to Shared Parental Leave….

Extension of Right to Shared Parental Leave….
Claire McCann considers this week’s announcement by George Osborne in the March 2016 budget to extend the right to shared parental leave Shared parental leave was introduced for parents of babies due on or after 5 April 2015, allowing mothers to share their leave with their “partner” which is defined in the legislation as “ someone, of either sex, ...
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School attendance awards: a poor lesson in tolerance to disabilities

School attendance awards: a poor lesson in tolerance to disabilities
Declan O’Dempsey and Siân McKinley consider the problems caused by school attendance award schemes. Some schools have started trying to encourage 100% attendance by pupils by having attendance awards schemes.  There are various ways in which a school can do this, and the precise way will be a matter for the school.  However, certain metho...
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No childcare vouchers during maternity leave: upping the pressure during early months

No childcare vouchers during maternity leave: upping the pressure during early months
Rachel Crasnow QC considers the recent judgment of the EAT in Peninsula Business Services v Donaldson (handed down on 9 March 2016) Is it discriminatory to discontinue childcare vouchers during maternity leave? No, held the EAT in Peninsula Business Services v Donaldson , deciding that childcare vouchers amounted to “remuneration” and that it was n...
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Limits to the concept of ‘Associative Discrimination’

Limits to the concept of ‘Associative Discrimination’
The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal or to make a referral to the CJEU in Hainsworth v Ministry of Defence. Daphne Romney QC considers this brake on the concept of associative discrimination and the law of disability. In Coleman v Attridge [2008] IRLR 722 the ECJ held that Art. 2 of the Framework Employment Equality Directive applied ...
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Equality, discrimination and the marginalised: The Immigration Bill 2015-16 and employment rights for migrants

Equality, discrimination and the marginalised: The Immigration Bill 2015-16 and employment rights for migrants
By Akua Reindorf Introduction The Immigration Bill 2015-16 was introduced on 17 September 2015 by a press release declaring that the Government’s intention is to make it “tougher than ever before” for illegal migrants to live in the UK. The press release is unambiguous in its message that tough action will be taken to crack down on those they deem ...
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The Court of Appeal in Griffiths: Malcolm comparison 'inapt' for reasonable adjustment cases

The Court of Appeal in Griffiths: Malcolm comparison 'inapt' for reasonable adjustment cases
In the disability discrimination decision of Griffiths v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions , the Court of Appeal provides helpful guidance on the proper comparator in reasonable adjustments cases. Rachel Crasnow QC and Sarah Fraser Butlin suggest that the Court’s conclusion – that the comparator is not akin to that in Malcolm – mus...
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Employment Tribunal awards over £832,000 for sexual harassment to former NHS Director represented by Akua Reindorf

Employment Tribunal awards over £832,000 for sexual harassment to former NHS Director represented by Akua Reindorf
Akua Reindorf represented the successful Claimant, Helen Marks,  in a sexual harassment and sex discrimination case against Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Trust. The Employment Tribunal this week awarded Ms Marks £832,711 for injury to feelings, aggravated damages, personal injury and loss of earnings. See Marks v Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Fou...
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Starbucks held to account by Tribunal for its discrimination and victimisation of a dyslexic employee represented by Rajiv Bhatt

Starbucks held to account by Tribunal for its discrimination and victimisation of a dyslexic employee represented by Rajiv Bhatt
Rajiv Bhatt successfully represented the Claimant, Ms Meseret Kumulchew, in her sex and disability discrimination, victimisation and whistleblowing case against Starbucks, Vishal Ballee (the store manager at the time) and Sharon Sherrett (the area manager).  The case,  Kumulchew v Starbucks .  has been widely reported by the BBC . Ms...
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How disabled people can get a fair hearing from the law courts

How disabled people can get a fair hearing from the law courts
John Horan and Nathan Roberts persuaded the President of the EAT, Langstaff P (as he then was), in the case of JW Rackham v NHS Professionals Ltd [2015] UKEAT to issue guidance for disabled people including a recommendation as to the Equal Treatment Bench Book’s ground rules hearing. The ground rules hearing has never been judiciously considered be...
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Age discrimination and the taxation of pension income

Age discrimination and the taxation of pension income
By Robin Allen QC and Dee Masters In Finland there is a supplementary tax on income from a retirement pension (“the Supplementary Tax”).  It is charged at a rate of 6% provided that the pension income is greater than €45,000.  Crucially, it is paid in addition to the income tax which would ordinarily be levied. A Finnish national challeng...
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The European Accessibility Act 2015

The European Accessibility Act 2015
The European Accessibility Act 2015 – Robin Allen QC and Dee Masters consider the new positive duty to make reasonable adjustments in relation to services and products for disabled people and certain age groups.  To view their paper please click on the following link European-Accessibility-Act-article.docx

Testing the limits of the Equality Act 2010

Testing the limits of the Equality Act 2010
Adam Ohringer considers the recent EAT Judgment in  Butterworth v The Police & Crime Commissioner’s Office for Greater Manchester .   The Equality Act 2010 (EqA) prohibits many instances of discrimination against ex-employees.  Section 108 states: A person (A) must not discriminate against another (B) if...(a) the discrimination ...
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Transgender Enquiry Report published today

Transgender Enquiry Report published today
The Women & Equalities Select Committee today published its Report concluding its Transgender Enquiry which it launched on 27 July 2015 and which received over 230 submissions.  Claire McCann was appointed as a Specialist Adviser to the Enquiry and was asked to provide legal advice in relation to certain aspects of the law relating to tran...
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Robin Allen QC to speak at the Discrimination Law in 2016 Conference

Robin Allen QC to speak at the Discrimination Law in 2016 Conference
On 25 January 2016 Robin Allen QC will join an eminent panel of experts to speak at the  Discrimination Law in 2016 Conference: ‘The authoritative review of the most dynamic area of employment law in Scotland ‘. Robin’s session will cover the issue of ‘Discrimination because of religion or belief and sexual orientation’. This ever popular annu...
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Proving discrimination: The shifting burden of proof and access to evidence

Proving discrimination: The shifting burden of proof and access to evidence
Anna Beale was invited to speak at the Academy of European Law in Trier, Germany, on the shifting burden of proof and access to evidence in European discrimination law. Her podcast examines the way in which EU law has sought to alleviate the difficulties faced by claimants in discrimination claims – see the link below: http://www.era-comm.eu/anti-d...
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Remedy in Tirkey v Chandhok

Remedy in Tirkey v Chandhok
By Tamar Burton The liability judgment in Tirkey v Chandhok  caught the attention of many legal commentators after the Employment Tribunal awarded Mrs Tirkey £183,773.53 for her National Minimum Wages claim alone. [Click  here  for Cloisters' blog on liability judgment.]  On 4 December 2015 the Employment Tribunal handed down it...
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Dee Masters to speak at Legal-Island's 10th Equality Law Update in Northern Ireland

Dee Masters to speak at Legal-Island's 10th Equality Law Update in Northern Ireland
Dee Masters is to speak at Legal-Island's 10th Equality Law Update at the Merchant Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland on the 2 December 2015. Dee's session will cover Age Discrimination and Goods, Facilities and Services (GFS). Legal-Island's 10th Equality Law Update is an full-day event ( 09:20 - 16:30) that will bring together leading practitioners...
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Why the Government is failing disabled people on access to legal justice

Why the Government is failing disabled people on access to legal justice
Cloisters’ barrister John Horan discusses why the Government and the courts need to properly apply the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities so that effective measures are put in place to facilitate correct access to justice for disabled people. Currently many disabled people feel that actual access to legal justice and equal rec...
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Goods, facilities and services: Age discrimination problems arise in unexpected places

Goods, facilities and services: Age discrimination problems arise in unexpected places
By Dee Masters and Siân McKinley Overview There has been a ban on age discrimination in goods, facilities and services in Great Britain since 1 October 2012 but very little litigation or publicity.  However, age discrimination problems can arise in some unexpected but common areas.  It seems likely that service providers have been lulled ...
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Qualified but cannot work here? General Teaching Council for Scotland faces recruiting challenge

Qualified but cannot work here? General Teaching Council for Scotland faces recruiting challenge
By Declan O'Dempsey The BBC says former teachers with English teaching qualifications, living in the local military population could be recruited by Moray Council to alleviate staff shortages.  Currently they cannot work because they qualified outside Scotland. The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) is considering approval of Moray’s...
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EAD Solicitors and Ors v Abrams: Equality for all “Persons?”

EAD Solicitors and Ors v Abrams: Equality for all “Persons?”
Chris Milsom considers the recent EAT Judgment which decides that a limited company can sue for discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 below: In this month’s Employment Law Association Briefing ( Blurred Lines? ‘Association’, ‘Direct’ and ‘Indirect’ following CHEZ ) I addressed the controversial decision on associative discrimination of CHEZ Ra...
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Rachel Crasnow QC reports on evidence given to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability

Rachel Crasnow QC reports on evidence given to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability
Last Tuesday Rachel Crasnow QC gave evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability on behalf of the Bar Council. She along with other organisations, such as The Law Society, The Discrimination Law Association and The Law Centres Network, were asked their views on how well the Equality Act 2010 is being enfor...
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Caspar Glyn QC represents claimant in sex discrimination case against World Snooker

Caspar Glyn QC represents claimant in sex discrimination case against World Snooker
Caspar Glyn QC represented Michaela Tabb, a high profile former referee, in her claim against World Snooker for sex discrimination, unfair dismissal and breach of contract. The case Michaela McInnes v World Snooker Ltd settled for an undisclosed sum. For press coverage go to: The BBC Sport: Michaela Tabb court case against World Snooker The Guardia...
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Dee Masters speaks at the Equality Commission NI conference on strengthening protection for all ages

Dee Masters speaks at the Equality Commission NI conference on strengthening protection for all ages
At the recent Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) conference, Cloisters’ Dee Masters gave a talk on ‘Proposals for reform of Age Discrimination in the Provision of Good, Facilities and Services'. To read Dee's paper click here . Currently there is no protection for anyone in Northern Ireland against age discrimination in the provision o...
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Greek Judge strikes a blow for parental leave equality

Greek Judge strikes a blow for parental leave equality
Case C-222/14 Konstantinos Maïstrellis v Ypourgos Dikaiosynis, Diafaneias kai Anthropinon Dikaiomaton – 16 July 2015 ; blog by  Jacques Algazy QC and Rachel Crasnow QC The Claimant, a male Greek Judge holding the status of a Civil servant, challenged the Greek legislation that provides that a male civil servant is not entitled to paid parenta...
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The CJEU Judgment in CHEZ: Indirect discrimination by association

The CJEU Judgment in CHEZ: Indirect discrimination by association
By Rachel Crasnow QC and Siân McKinley Since C-303/06 Coleman v Attridge Law , a person may bring a claim for direct discrimination if they are treated less favourably because they are associated with a protected characteristic, such as disability or race, even if they do not share that protected characteristic. In C-83/14 CHEZ Razpredelenie B...
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Lee v Ashers Bakery: Cake Now or Cake Later?

Lee v Ashers Bakery: Cake Now or Cake Later?
By Olivia Dobbie Northern Ireland delivers a small slice of sweet justice to the gay rights movement, but for some, it leaves a bitter aftertaste. Is the law moving too fast? Just days before the Republic of Ireland voted in favour of same-sex marriage, its neighbour, Northern Ireland, demonstrated a similarly positive stance to gay rights in the j...
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A victory for gay rights as Ashers bakery is found liable for discrimination

A victory for gay rights as Ashers bakery is found liable for discrimination
By Olivia Dobbie In a judgment handed down today by a County Court sitting in Belfast, Ashers bakery was found liable for discriminating against a customer when it refused to fulfil his order of making a cake which was iced with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”. Cloisters’ Robin Allen QC acted for the customer (the plaintiff) in this significant r...
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Daphne Romney QC talks on Radio 4 about the culture of sexual discrimination and harassment in the City

Daphne Romney QC talks on Radio 4 about the culture of sexual discrimination and harassment in the City
Daphne Romney QC talked to Jenni Murray on Radio 4 Woman’s Hour on 30 April 2015 about why sexual discrimination and harassment are still so rife in the City and how women who object to the aggressive and often crude  male sexual messages are often described as ‘cry-babies’. "What men see as ‘banter’ other people see as abuse “, she says. She ...
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Illegality in context - Sheryn Omeri comments on the recent Supreme Court decision in Hounga v Allen

Illegality in context - Sheryn Omeri comments on the recent Supreme Court decision in Hounga v Allen
Cloisters' barrister Sheryn Omeri discusses the most recent decision in Hounga v Allen , a case where the claimant, Miss Hounga, had arrived in the UK on a fraudulent passport which she had used to secure a 6-month visitor’s visa and worked illegallyas a home help for the first Respondent (Mrs Allen) in London for a period of 18 months. Read S...
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Court reserves judgment in gay rights v religious beliefs case

Court reserves judgment in gay rights v religious beliefs case
Gareth Lee v Ashers Baking Company Limited Belfast High Court reserved judgment yesterday in the case of Gareth Lee v Ashers Baking Company Ltd - a case that could have wide-reaching consequences for shop owners. Robin Allen QC , acting for gay rights activist Gareth Lee, told the court why a business should not “be allowed to break a contract with...
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Shared parental leave and pay: discrimination issues

Shared parental leave and pay: discrimination issues
By Catherine Richmond When I told my friend two years ago that I had spent my morning wading through the government’s proposals to introduce shared parental leave, he asked hopefully whether that was something to help frazzled parents get away from the kids for a few days (he takes care of his full-time). It was hard to disappoint him. But he was e...
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Indirect discrimination by association: a regressive step?

By Dee Masters and Siân McKinley Overview Since C-303/06 Coleman v Attridg e Law , a person may bring a claim for direct discrimination if they are treated less favourably because they are associated with a protected characteristic, such as disability or race, even if they do not share that protected characteristic. The facts of Coleman provide a c...
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Daphne Romney QC acts for 3000 women in successful equal pay claim against council

Daphne Romney QC acts for 3000 women in successful equal pay claim against council
Daphne Romney QC , instructed by Fox & Partners, represented 3000 Claimants, including carers, cooks, cleaners, school crossing patrollers, sheltered housing wardens and caretakers working for North Lanarkshire Council. They were claiming equal pay with male comparators following a job evaluation scheme brought into effect in November 2006. The...
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Tribunal finds compulsory retirement of cricket umpires at 65 was not age discrimination

Tribunal finds compulsory retirement of cricket umpires at 65 was not age discrimination
By David Massarella On 13 March 2015 the London Central Employment Tribunal gave judgment in a test case about the right of the England and Wales Cricket Board (‘EWCB’) to dismiss first class umpires (‘FCUs’) at 65.  In Willey and Sharpe v England and Wales Cricket Board it rejected the idea that the EWCB could rely on its stated aim of avoidi...
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Henderson v GMB : Discrimination and philosophical belief

Henderson v GMB : Discrimination and philosophical belief
By Jennifer Danvers The recent EAT judgment in  Henderson v GMB   is a must-read for practitioners seeking to advance or respond to claims of discrimination on the grounds of philosophical belief.          The Facts Keith Henderson, a GMB Regional organiser was dismissed on 7 December 2012.  At first instance...
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Supreme Court considers tests for justification under s15 Equality Act 2010 and Article 8 ECHR in a housing eviction case against a disabled tenant

Supreme Court considers tests for justification under s15 Equality Act 2010 and Article 8 ECHR in a housing eviction case against a disabled tenant
By Catherine Casserley The Supreme Court handed down its decision yesterday in Akerman-Livingstone v. Aster Communities Ltd (formerly Flourish Homes Ltd) [2015] UKSC 15 in which it considered the test of justification for discrimination under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 (the EqA) as compared with justification for Article 8 of the Conventio...
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Socio-legal case study considers the wave of equal pay litigation

Socio-legal case study considers the wave of equal pay litigation
The Cambridge Journal of Economics has recently published an article which Sarah Fraser Butlin co-wrote with Professor Simon Deakin, Colm McLaughlin and Aleksandra Polanska looking at equal pay litigation. The paper ( available here ) is a socio-legal case study considering the recent wave of equal pay litigation and exploring the role of collectiv...
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Applying EU Anti-Discrimination Law

Applying EU Anti-Discrimination Law
Cloisters barrister Tom Brown is one of the speakers at the prestigious ‘Applying EU Anti-Discrimination Law’ seminar being held  on 20- 21 April 2015 at the ERA Conference Centre, Trier, Germany. The seminar organised by the ERA on behalf of the European Commission is aimed at legal practitioners from EU member states...
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When is a religious or political belief appropriate?

When is a religious or political belief appropriate?
Employment Appeal Tribunal to consider when a manifestation of a religious or political belief is appropriate   Cloister’s barristers, Ed Williams and Sarah Fraser Butlin , are instructed in the case of GMB v Henderson which will be of fundamental importance to all discrimination lawyers. Keith Henderson was employed as a regional organiser in...
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Blackwood v Birmingham: Neither the Time nor the Placement

Blackwood v Birmingham: Neither the Time nor the Placement
By Chris Milsom In Blackwood v Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust UKEAT/0130/14 the EAT was faced with a jurisdictional issue which is of practical importance but is somewhat bereft of appellate guidance. Since the CA is due to hear an appeal in July 2015, the decision is still in a state of flux. B was a single mother and u...
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New EHCPs : challenges and top tips

Cloisters barristers Yvette Genn and Sarah Fraser Butlin were on the panel of speakers at the charity Scope’s Family information Day event on 8 January hosted by the clinical negligence team of Pennington Manches. The primary focus of the event was Education, Health and Care Plans. Sarah and Yvette ran an extremely well received session on this top...
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Women on the front line

Women on the front line

by Andrew Buchan

 Ground Close Combat  (GCC) roles are ‘those roles that are primarily intended and designed with the purpose of requiring individuals on the ground, to close with and kill the enemy’.

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Obesity and disability following Kaltoft

Can Employers now breath a sigh of relief following the 18 December judgment in the CJEU case of C‑354/13 Kaltoft v Municipality of Billund that obesity itself is not a protected characteristic?

Cloisters barristers, Rachel Crasnow and Sarah Fraser Butlin discuss.

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Focus on the effects and not the cause

Focus on the effects and not the cause

Daphne Romney QC, barrister at Cloisters Chambers comments on the CJEU decision on whether obesity can be a disability.

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Jason Galbraith-Marten QC to speak at the EU Gender Equality Law seminar 23 February 2015

Jason Galbraith-Marten QC to speak at the EU Gender Equality Law seminar 23 February 2015

Cloisters barrister Jason Galbraith-Marten QC joins the panel of eminent speakers at the seminar commissioned by the European Union’s Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity – Progress (2007-2013) in Germany on 23 February 2015 at the ERA Conference Centre, Metzer Allee 4, Trier.

The seminar will provide participants with an overview of the EU gender equality legislation as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the EU in its large case on this topic.

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Discrimination Law in 2015

Cloisters’ employment law barristers Robin Allen QC and Rachel Crasnov will be on the panel of experts speaking at the Discrimination Law in 2015 Conference in London on Friday 23 January 2015.

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When is it time to stop judging? Age Discrimination and the Judiciary

by Tamar Burton

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Declan O'Dempsey speaks at European Commission's seminar 'Enforcement of equality and anti-discrimination law' on 28 November 2014

Cloisters' barrister, Declan O'Dempsey , is speaking at the Legal Seminar 'Enforcement of equality and anti-discrimination law' on  28 November 2014 at Courtyard Marriott Hotel Avenue des Olympiades 6, Brussels. Declan's workshop session covers The Burden of Proof The shift of the burden of proof is an essential procedural issue for equality a...
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2014 Equality and Employment Update: Focusing on Legal Status, Disability and Flexible Working

On 14 October 2014, Rachel Crasnow , Sarah Fraser Butlin , and Sally Robertson delivered a 2014 Equality and Employment Update (which focused on legal status, disability and flexible working) as part of Cloisters’ Autumn Seminar Series. The paper accompanying this update, which was written by the speakers and Declan O’Dempsey , can be accessed here...
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Cloisters speaks at Discrimination Law Association Conference

Cloisters speaks at Discrimination Law Association Conference

Robin Allen QC, Catherine Casserley, Akua Reindorf, Rachel Crasnow and Sarah Fraser-Butlin will all speak at the 2014 DLA conference on Monday, 20th October 2014.  

While Robin will speak on "How are European courts dealing with equality issues?", Catherine will lead her ever popular workshop updating on discrimination law.  

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Proving and disproving discrimination

by Ed Williams and Tom Coghlin Introduction This talk looks at the legal and practical tools available to employment lawyers to prove or disprove direct discrimination and harassment, exploring in particular three areas: How judges apply the burden of proof s136(2)(3) EA 2010. What is the role of Comparators in light of the Supreme Court decision o...
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