Turani & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department

Court of Appeal: Underhill VP, Simler and Warby LJJ, [2021] EWCA Civ 348, 15 March 2021

The Court considered an appeal from a High Court decision which had rejected indirect race discrimination and PSED challenges to the application of the Defendant’s ex gratia scheme to support and assist third-country national refugees outside the UK who have fled the conflict in Syria. The case is important, if somewhat disheartening to equality lawyers, for its conclusions on the (limited) extra-territorial effect of the Equality Act 2010. It is worth emphasising that the Court of Appeal’s approval of the High Court’s conclusions on justification were subject to the proviso that the limited evidence on which the High Court was prepared to find in the Defendant’s favour was the result of the way in which the claim had developed post-issue; as Underhill LJ, concurring with Simler LJ leading judgment, stated at §110: “the story is indeed a good illustration of the perils of “rolling judicial review”. Continue reading

R (Z & Anor) v Hackney LBC & Anor

Supreme Court, [2020] UKSC 40, 16 October 2020

Lords Reed, Kerr, Kitchen and Sales and Lady Arden

Introduction

The case involved a challenge to Hackney’s allocation of about 1% of its social housing via a charitable housing association (Agudas Israel Housing Association/ AIHA) which prioritized applicants from the Orthodox Jewish Community. The reasons for the priority were, inter alia, that Orthodox Jewish families were disadvantaged in access to general social housing by reason of their tendency to have large families; that they suffered from significant economic disadvantage and discrimination in access to private sector accommodation; and that they needed to live in proximity to each other for religious reasons and because of antisemitism. The decision is an important one in rejecting the argument that a narrow approach should be taken to the parameters of lawful positive action.

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R (Bridges) v CC South Wales Police

Court of Appeal: Sir Terence Etherton MR, Dame Victoria Sharp P and Singh LJ [2020] EWCA Civ 1058, 11 August 2020

The Court of Appeal allowed the Claimant’s appeal against the decision of the Divisional Court that the Defendant had not breached the PSED in its trial of live automated facial recognition technology (“AFR Locate”), by which the Defendant compared images of members of the public captured by surveillance cameras to images of persons on a watchlist. It was argued on appeal that AFR Locate breached Article 8 ECHR, data protection legislation and the PSED. This note is concerned only with the PSED challenge. The decision is an important one in that it underlines the proactive nature of the PSED and the evidence-gathering obligation it places on public authorities.

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Independent Workers Union of Great Britain v Mayor of London & Transport for London (Interested Party)

Court of Appeal: Sir Geoffrey Vos C, Singh and Simler LJJ, [2020] EWCA Civ 1046, 5 August 2020

The claimant unsuccessfully appealed against the rejection by Lewis J of its challenge to the decision to remove the exemption in the congestion charging regime which had previously applied to private hire vehicles (PHVs). The exemption remained applicable to black cabs and to the 1% of PHVs which were wheelchair accessible. The claimant argued that the removal of the exemption amounted to indirect discrimination against BAME and women PHV drivers, 94% of PHV drivers being from BAME backgrounds whereas 88% of black cab drivers were white. Continue reading