R (Salvato) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

[2021] EWHC 102 (Admin), Chamberlain J

The High Court ruled that the requirement that the childcare element (CCE) of Universal Credit (UC) could be paid to applicants only after they had actually paid for childcare, rather than becoming liable so to do (“the proof of payment rule”), was unlawful because it discriminated indirectly against women contrary to Article 14 ECHR read with Article 8 and/or A1P1 Further, having scrutinised the justification for the Secretary of State’s approach through the prism of Article 14, he went on to find that it was also irrational as a matter of common law. The decision engages intelligently with the sometimes tricky question of appropriate comparator pools, and shines useful light on the potential for common law rationality to accommodate discrimination-based claims even were direct reliance on Article 14 to become unavailable.

Continue reading

R (Bridges) v CC South Wales Police

[2020] EWCA Civ 1058, Sir Terence Etherton MR, Dame Victoria Sharp P and Singh LJ

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 Continue reading

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

[2020] EWCA Civ 1046, Sir Geoffrey Vos C, Singh and Simler LJJ

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

Bostock v Clayton County

US Supreme Court, 590 US_ (2020)

As Europeans, it is easy for us to assume that we have nothing to learn from the USA when it comes to anti-discrimination law. Surely a legal system which tolerated de jure racial segregation until 1965, and which was still prosecuting gay men in the 1990s, has nothing to teach the nations of Europe, with their well-established and comprehensive codes of equality laws? Well, perhaps. Continue reading