Black information Link:

home campaigns act now policy & research press releases links subscribe contact us

black information link The 1990 Trust, human rights for race equality
The 1990 Trust's independent community website for black communities

2007 Bicentenary of Abolition
America at war
Armed Forces
Black Elders
Black Workers
Blink Interview
Civil Liberties
Crime & Policing
Human Rights
News Digest
Northern Ireland
Rural racism
Society & Environment
Stephen Lawrence
The 1990 Trust
UK regions

Equalities body will be a “discriminators charter”


HUMAN RIGHTS lawyers believe the governments’ new equalities body will lead to a huge fall in legal cases for victims of discrimination.

Peter Herbert
Peter Herbert: CEHR could become 'a charter for employers to act in a discriminatory way.'

The Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), which comes into effect next year, with an inbuilt bias against taking court cases.

They are fears that the new super-equalities body will fail those who are most in need of help.

Concern is so high that some legal eagles believe it will amount to a ‘discriminators charter.’

Two weeks ago anti-racist campaigners blasted the recent record of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) for drastically reducing the number of legal cases it took on behalf of race crime victims.

There was strong criticism for the CRE’s chair Trevor Phillips, who had earlier boasted about saving taxpayers money by slashing the number of full legal cases to just one.

Phillips is now putting himself forward as a candidate to be the CEHR chairman when it starts work in January, covering the areas of gender, disabilities, age, sexual orientation, religion and human rights.


Peter Herbert spokesperson on behalf of Society of Black Lawyers, part-time judge and member of the Metropolitan Police Authority said: ‘The enforceability and strength of anti-discrimination legislation not only on grounds of race but relating to all forms of discrimination depends upon the legal powers of individuals to challenge the unlawful actions of employers and individuals.

Karen Chouhan:
Karen Chouhan: said the new CEHR chair should spell out their committment to supporting the victims of discrimination.

‘If claimants do not have access to legal aid, which they have never had and the new CEHR abdicates all responsibility for representation, save for a handful of cases, then claimants will effectively be on their own.

'It is well known that un-represented litigants in person succeed in only less than 10 % of cases.

‘The result will be that the creation of the CEHR will be a charter for employers and institutions to act in a racist and discriminatory way, unchallenged save for the paper tiger represented by the CEHR.

‘The CEHR will be further undermined by a chair who has successfully wound down the activities of the CRE and repeatedly shown that he is accountable not to black communities but to the agenda of 10 Downing Street.’


Jane Deighton, partner in Deighton Guedalla Solicitors said:
‘I have represented applicants under the RRA since it came into being. The taking of individual cases is a crucial step towards eradicating race discrimination.

‘Successful cases make a difference not just to the applicant but also to others. This is for all sorts of reasons. The process is often educative to the applicant and the institution or individual complained about, tribunals can make recommendations, the press cover the cases, and where the law is exposed as needing reform there may be legislative changes.

‘The right of access to tribunals and courts is empowering to individuals and can operate as a check on the practice of employers. Further cases educate and ground policy makers in the reality of discrimination and the legal process.

‘It can be fantastically stressful taking cases. Part of the stress is lack of funding. Public funding in employment cases is limited to advice and does not extend to representative. It is also limited to the very poor.

‘The less statutory bodies fund cases, the fewer cases will be taken by applicants who believe they have been discriminated against, and yet more incidents of discrimination will carry on unchecked.’

Karen Chouhan, a trustee of The 1990 Trust, added: ‘We demand that whoever becomes the new CEHR chair should set out their commitment to legally supporting the victims of discrimination.

‘In particular we need an explaination of how individual and group [class action] cases will be supported by the CEHR. This means making available the resources for case work, and ensuring a legal team able to deliver.’

Send to a friend
Send to a friend
print document
Print document

Contact Government
Civil Service
Single Equalities Commission
Citizenship & Integration

Related Stories

CRE turkeys vote for early Christmas Trevor's Rotten Empire UK needs a race-specific body Is this the man who destroyed the CRE? Trevor Phillips appointment as CEHR chairman condemned Trevor Phillips “to join the BNP soon” says mayor Ken Why we're rooting for Shami Batting both ways Fat cat Trevor won't fight for us Rights groups attack Blair's favourite for equality chair Phillips used me, says school experiment boy Equalities body will be a “discriminators charter” Trevor, do you qualify? CEHR chair “must have a record of fighting discrimination” PRESS RELEASE – Black communities reject Trevor Phillips for top equalities job Trevor Phillips would be “final nail in CEHR coffin” The 1990 Trust Response to The Equalities Review Interim Report Six days to influence review into government race policies Anti-racist organisations campaign for 'race committee' and Black representation on the CEHR Local race councils in revolt over merger United we stand Black groups abandon equalities super-body Trevor lobbies MPs for race committee Why we oppose the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights The moment of betrayal Let battle commence Vaz the way to do it Regions unite to demand race recognition in equalities body Sir Bill Morris blasts “one size fits all” agenda Lammy supports race committee for equalities super-body British Democracy failing Black Britain Charles Kennedy considering support for race committee MPs support for race committee grows Last chance to get race on single equalities agenda Jasper unleashed his wrath Lib Dems hold key but which way will they turn? Pump up the volume CEHR “a step backwards” says Diane Abbott Knowing is not believing Lobby MPs over absence of race in single equalities body proposals Upside down politics over single equality body Government shrug off concerns over all-white equality body A funny kind of equality Some more equal than others Time to sound alarm for equality Give us a piece of the pie Equalities merger body radically improved One Big Equality Mush Single equalities body still a dogs dinner Single equalities fudge fails to sweeten sceptics Single equalities body a 'dead duck' as disabilities group say no to merger Black community rejects single equalities merger CRE could survive single equalities merger CRE vote to kill off single equalities plans Trevor Phillips under pressure to oppose single equalities body Another former minister hits out at single equalities body Disappointment over White Paper on the single equalities body – no new powers or cash Government to impose single equalites body even if consultation opposes it Livingstone says single equalities body would be an ‘inaccessible monolith’ ‘Whitewash’ for single equalities body The Eagle has panned it – ex-race relations minister attacks single equalities body Single equalities body may not happen, says CRE chief Enforcement of equality law ‘off the agenda’ in single equalities Stitch-up claims over new single equalities body Squad to design new equalities commission lacks black grassroots credibility War of the equalities Big-guns blast single equalities body Opposition to single equalities body grows


Teeth and their use

Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society: One year On

The Zahid Mubarek Inquiry

pdf Dept. for Communities & Local Government Citizenship Survey

Responses to the Equalities Review Interim Report

The 1990 Trust Response to The Equalities Review Interim Report

Equalities Review Interim Report Briefing – Addressing Race Equality

pdf Our Rights, Our Future

pdf Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society: The Government's race strategy

CRE response to DTI Statement on Commission for Equality and Human Rights

Equality and Diversity Forum welcomes the progress on a Commission for Equality and Human Rights

Summary of Changes to the CEHR

The 1990 Trust’s response to the CEHR White Paper

pdf Delivering equality and human rights for black and minority ethnic communities

Flush the academic racism in Blunkett’s office down the pan

Jacqui Smith answers questions on the Single Equalities Body

How to Contact your MP


Race and Faith and Communities

Election Memory

Catalyst Magazine

UNITE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS: sign the statement against the erosion of civil liberties and human rights by new anti-terrorism proposals A Black Manifesto No 2 ID FREE FAROUQ PDP ASSOCIATES Power to the People

Published by The 1990 Trust

This website is subject to a disclaimer: Please read

Black Information Link. All rights reserved.

Suite 12 Winchester House 
9 Cranmer Road
London SW9 6EJ
Tel: 020  7582 1990
Fax: 020 7793 8269

top of pagetop of page

powered by Linux