QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF KAUR and SHAH||Claimants|
|LONDON BOROUGH OF EALING||Defendant|
|THE EQUALITY & HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION||Intervenor|
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Mr Declan O'Dempsey appeared on behalf of the Defendant (No appearance for judgment on 29 July)
Miss Monoghan appeared on behalf of the Intervenor (No appearance for judgment on 29 July)
Crown Copyright ©
The Statutory Scheme
"A person also discriminates against another if, in any circumstances relevant for the purposes of any provision referred to in sub-section (1B), he applies to that other a provision, criteria or practice which he applies or would apply equally to persons not of the same race or ethnic or national origins as that other, but
(a) which puts or would put persons of the same race or ethnic or national origins as that other at a particular disadvantage when compared with other persons,
(b) which puts that other at that disadvantage, and
(c) which he cannot show to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim."
"due regard for the need -
(a) to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination, and
(b) to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups."
(a) to promote race equality is obligatory for all public authorities listed in Schedule 1A of the Act;
(b) public authorities must meet the duty to promote race equality in all relevant functions;
(c) the weight to be given to race quality should be proportionate to its relevance;
(d) the elements of the duty are complementary which means they are all necessary to meet the whole duty."
"Could the policy or the way the function is carried out have an adverse impact on equality and opportunity to some racial groups; in other words, does it put some racial groups at a disadvantage?" (See paragraph 3.16).
"The main reason for this (a disproportionate impact) is that not all women experience domestic violence in similar circumstances. Issues of racism, culture, language and immigration status, for example, make the task of accessing services much more harder (see ISC) (?) for black and minority women. There is therefore a greater need for part of its specialist resources and staff."
"Throughout our existence we have consistently provided a safe place for all black and minority women so that they can learn to respect each other and also to share their experiences and overcome their differences to reach their goals. We have been extremely successful until now. Black and minority women from various religious and ethnic backgrounds use our centre without fear or mistrust and build friendship networks that cut across their differences."
"The council does not accept that the absence of an equality impact assessment renders the decision of 18 December unlawful. The decision to proceed with the proposal was clearly contingent on the EIA being underpaid (?). The intention was that it would be available before final recommendations were made in February 2008." (Quotation not checked)
That was a clear error. The authority was not entitled to formulate policy before any equality impact assessment. Thus it is unlawful to adopt a policy contingent on an assessment.
"by avoiding funding projects for particular groups which do not meet evidenced needs particular to those groups."
"Nothing in Parts II to IV will render unlawful any act done in according to a person of a particular racial group access to facilities or services to meet the special needs of persons of that group in regard to their education, training or welfare or any ancillary benefits."
"these very concepts of their culture such as honour and shame to support them in escaping violence and re-building their lives."
"Specialist services are more effective in empowering minority women so that they can take their place in the wider society."
"An equal society protects and promotes equality real freedom and substantive opportunity to live in the ways people value and would choose so that everyone can flourish. An equal society rcognises people's different needs, situations and goals and removes the barriers that limit what people can do and can be."