Aster Communities Ltd (formerly Flourish Homes Ltd) v Akerman-Livingstone (Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening) – WLR Daily

Aster Communities Ltd (formerly Flourish Homes Ltd) v Akerman-Livingstone (Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening); [2015] UKSC 15; [2015] WLR (D) 121

‘The approach to be taken to a defence to a claim for possession of residential premises which alleged unlawful discrimination against a disabled person, contrary to the Equality Act 2010, was different from that which applied to a defence which alleged a breach of an individual’s rights under article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. In particular, summary judgment would not normally be an appropriate procedure for dealing with a possession claim where a disability discrimination defence was raised.’

WLR Daily, 11th March 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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UK rights watchdog attacks Tory policy to quit European human rights court – The Guardian

Posted March 20th, 2015 in equality, human rights, news, political parties by tracey

‘The government’s human rights watchdog has attacked Conservative party proposals to repeal the Human Rights Act and withdraw from the European court of human rights in Strasbourg.’

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The Guardian, 20th March 2015

Soure: www.guardian.co.uk

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Managing Cuts: Lawful decision-making, PSED and consultation – Thirty Nine Essex Street

Posted March 19th, 2015 in consultations, equality, financial provision, news by sally

‘In recent years there have been an increased number of challenges to local authority decisions made under the pressure of increasingly tight and potentially unmanageable
financial constraints. Many of these legal challenges have centred on alleged failures to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) together with alleged deficiencies in the consultation process. As financial pressures continue, and further cuts are required, this paper discusses the lessons to be learned from the cases so far, and offers practical tips for lawful decision-making in these difficult times.’

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Thirty Nine Essex Street, February 2015

Source: www.39essex.com

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The Equality Act 2010: The interplay of the employment and educational protections – No. 5 Chambers

Posted March 18th, 2015 in appeals, education, employment, equality, news, sex discrimination, tribunals by sally

‘In this case the legislative framework at play was the interplay between the education and employment protections in the Equality Act 2010 (‘the Act’). S56(5) was the particular provision under the microscope, which provides that training or guidance covered by s91(within the education provisions of the Act) falls outside the employment services protection afforded by s55; it provides that s56 ‘does not apply in relation to training or guidance for students of an institution to which s91 applies in so far as it is training or guidance to which the governing body of the institution has power to afford access’.’

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No. 5 Chambers, 12th January 2015

Source: www.no5.com

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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 – Cloisters

‘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 Convention.’

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Cloisters, 12th March 2015

Source: www.cloisters.com

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Gender equality and diversity in the judiciary – two years later and little has changed – Halsburys Law Exchange

Posted March 10th, 2015 in diversity, equality, judiciary, legal profession, news by tracey

‘In 2009, when asked by the then Lord Chancellor to look at judicial diversity, Baroness Neuberger said: “Judges drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences will bring varying perspectives to bear on critical legal issues. A judiciary which is more visibly reflective of society will enhance public confidence.” Although it would appear that even 6 years later, not a lot has changed.’

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Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 9th March 2015

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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Bring in blame-free divorces and rights for cohabitants, says law body – The Guardian

Posted February 23rd, 2015 in children, cohabitation, dispute resolution, divorce, equality, news by sally

‘Blame-free divorces and fairer property rights for cohabiting couples should be introduced as a matter of urgency, a leading family law organisation has urged.’

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The Guardian, 23rd February 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Zambrano carers and social assistance – NearlyLegal

Posted February 16th, 2015 in appeals, benefits, carers, citizenship, EC law, equality, homelessness, housing, human rights, news by sally

‘There must be times when Court of Appeal judges think that they have bit parts in an ongoing drama – they have a walk on role. And that must be how the Court felt in Sanneh v SSWP and others [2015] EWCA Civ 49, which concerns the eligibility rules for Zambrano carers of a raft of social assistance benefits. Leading QCs and junior barristers appeared on all sides in a right ding dong that is bound to end up at the Supreme Court, which almost certainly will refer the issues to the CJEU. It also provides a glimpse of how the recent, potentially contradictory, judgments of the CJEU in Brey and Dano are, or might be, treated (although it looks like the UKSC will have the next bite of those rather earlier, in the Mirga and Samin appeals in March) and the question of the ambit of “social assistance”, which in itself is not uninteresting, is also raised, but parked by the CA, in these appeals ([84] – note: this is an important point for the future).’

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NearlyLegal, 12th February 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Landlords shunning foreigners because of their accents, after new rules preventing illegal migrants from renting – The Independent

‘Landlords are preparing to turn away tenants just because they have a foreign accent, as a consequence of new rules making it an offence to let rooms to illegal migrants.’

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The Independent, 15th February 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Judge rules that Mr Pickles unlawfully discriminated against Gypsies and Travellers – Garden Court Chambers Blog

‘Marc Willers QC explores the recent High Court judgment in which it was found that the conduct of Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, constituted indirect discrimination against Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers.’

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Garden Court Chambers, 12th February 2015

Source: www.gclaw.wordpress.com

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‘Bank mistook my sex change for fraud’ – when poor service counts as discrimination – Daily Telegraph

Posted January 27th, 2015 in banking, disabled persons, equality, news, ombudsmen by sally

‘If a firm doesn’t accommodate a customer’s race, religion, disability or sexual orientation they could be ignoring their rights under the Equality Act’

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Daily Telegraph, 27th January 2015

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Eric Pickles ‘breached’ Green Belt Gypsies’ human rights – BBC News

Posted January 22nd, 2015 in equality, gipsies, human rights, news, planning by sally

‘Communities Secretary Eric Pickles “unlawfully discriminated” against Romany Gypsies wanting pitches in the Green Belt, the High Court has ruled.’

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BBC News, 21st January 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Is the Cart-threshold being set too high? – Garden Court Chambers Blog

‘Desmond Rutledge and Zubier Yazdani consider the hurdles facing welfare benefit claimants seeking to use the Cart test.’

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Garden Court Chambers, Blog, 6th January 2015

Source: www.gclaw.wordpress.com

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Gypsies and Travellers: “A litmus test not of democracy but of civil society” – No. 5 Chambers

Posted January 6th, 2015 in equality, gipsies, housing, human rights, news, planning, race discrimination by sally

‘“[T]here is force in the observation attributed to Václav Havel, no doubt informed by the dire experience of central Europe: “The Gipsies are a litmus test not of democracy but of civil society”.” So said Lord Bingham of Cornhill in the House of Lords in South Buckinghamshire DC v Porter (No 1).’

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No. 5 Chambers, 18th December 2014

Source: www.no5.com

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Equalities watchdog to investigate Met police over staff discrimination claims – The Guardian

‘The Metropolitan police are to face a formal investigation by the equalities watchdog into whether the force broke the law and discriminated against staff.’

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The Guardian, 15th December 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Managing mental health issues – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted December 11th, 2014 in employment, equality, health, mental health, news, sick leave by sally

‘In 2006, it was estimated that 35% of all GP consultations involved a mental health problem and by 2011 stress had become the most common cause of long-term sickness absence for both manual and non-manual workers. If these figures are not reason enough for employers to address their employees’ mental health issues, there are plenty more statistics that may convince them:

It is estimated that three in ten people will experience a mental health problem in any one year, and this figure is likely to increase.
Work-related stress costs Britain 10.4 million working days per annum, with a disconcerting 91 million days per year lost to mental health problems generally.
The Centre for Mental Health estimates that the total cost of mental health problems at work is over £30 billion a year.
When working long hours, more than a quarter of employees feel depressed (27%), one third feel anxious (34%) and more than half feel irritable (58%).’

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Hardwicke Chambers, 11th December 2014

Source: www.hardwicke.co.uk

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

Posted December 11th, 2014 in age discrimination, equality, judges, judiciary, news by sally

‘Mr White, a retired circuit judge, brought claims against the MoJ for age discrimination.

By an amendment, he added claims for breaches under the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 and an allegation that the decision not to appoint him to the position of deputy circuit judge after his retirement was an act of age discrimination. These two additional claims were subsequently dismissed on the basis that they were out of time.

The tribunal therefore only considered one issue: is the requirement for a judge to retire on his or her 70th birthday an act of age discrimination?’

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Cloisters, 9th December 2014

Source: www.cloisters.com

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Couple launch challenge to heterosexual ban on Civil Partnerships – UK Human Rights Blog

‘The future of civil partnerships is again in the news. In October, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan tried to register a Civil Partnership at Chelsea Town Hall but were rebuffed on the grounds that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 reserves that status strictly for same sex couples. Their lawyer, Louise Whitfield of Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors has announced their intention to seek a judicial review and the couple have also started a petition.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 9th December 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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First Bus wins wheelchair court judgement – BBC News

Posted December 8th, 2014 in damages, disability discrimination, disabled persons, equality, news, transport by sally

‘Bus companies are not required by law to force parents with buggies to make way for wheelchair users in designated bays on vehicles, senior judges ruled.’

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BBC News, 8th December 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Ethnic minority lawyers nearly four times less likely to be appointed as judges – The Independent

‘Black and minority ethnic lawyers are nearly four times less likely to be appointed as judges than white candidates, according to the latest statistics from the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), prompting calls for targets to be introduced.’

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The Independent, 7th December 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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