News Flash (July 2021)
The most important development in June was the judgement in Forstater v CGD Europe, which ruled that ‘gender critical’ beliefs are protected under the Equality Act Protected Characteristic ‘Religion or belief’; and also by Articles 9 & 10 of the European Court of Human Rights and the UK’s Human Rights Act. This has wide-ranging implications. Organisations need to be aware of the potential for litigation on grounds of belief discrimination or harassment.
- Akua Reindorf QC was commissioned by Essex University to review its EDI policies. Essex University is a Stonewall Champion. It received policy-advice from Stonewall.
- The Reindorf Report stated that Essex University policy states “the law as Stonewall would prefer it to be, rather than the law as it is”. By misstating the law, Essex University is legally exposed.
News Flash (June 2021)
17 February 2020. AEA complained to the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) about unlawful statements in its guidance on the 2010 Equality Act. After prolonged correspondence, EHRC corrected its guidance in July and Aug 2020.
6 May 2021. AEA’s High Court Hearing. Permission for a Judicial Review of EHRC not granted. However, in order to defend itself, EHRC was forced to publicly make significant clarifications and concessions, stating that:
- People with a Gender Recognition Certificate can be lawfully excluded from single-sex services
- A policy which states that trans persons must be allowed access to the single-sex services of their choice is directly inconsistent with the law
- EHRC has informed some organisations that their policies are unlawful and will do the same with other organisations that come to its attention
- EHRC isn’t responsible for service-providers’ unlawful policies and that complainants should take legal action against service providers