Practitioner group meetings

PGMs provide a unique opportunity for members to discuss discrimination law matters in an informal setting with diverse experts and practitioners. They are of particular interest to those advising and representing complainants. It is possible to join on the day to attend a PGM.

PGMs attract CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points through the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Meetings are usually in London, although the DLA hopes to make certain future meetings available by podcast through the website.

The views expressed during these meetings do not necessarily reflect the views of the DLA, and the DLA cannot be held responsible for any opinions or advice shared during PGMs, which constitute informal discussions between members.

Discrimination and Redundancy

Redundancy ... is it a smoke screen concealing the real reason for selection?

This powerpoint presentation was provided by Elizabeth Graves, Kathleen Healy and Susan Doris from Freshfields

BACKLASH IN THE HIGHER COURTS?

Should we be optomistic about the higher courts protecting progress or are they undermining the principles of discrimination law?

Malcolm PGM Papers Now Available

Catherine Casserley has now made her papers on the Malcolm decision, which were presented at this month's PGM available to DLA members

The House of Lords overturns Clark v Novocold. Where to now for DDA cases?

The House of Lords in Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Lewisham v Malcolm has just overturned one of the key tests in disability discrimination cases - to the detriment of many claimants.

Cathy Casserley of Cloisters Chambers, one of the team on Malcolm and former policy expert at the Disability Rights Commission, will speak and lead a discussion on the implications of Malcolm and how to proceed in practice.

What are the most effective ways to ensure carers do not suffer discrimination?

October 2007

In the context of policy questions raised during the DLR consultation A Framework for Fairness and the DLA's input into the consultation, the DLA sought to develop a clear position on the question of protection for carers.

Camilla Palmer and Joanna Wade - both of Palmer Wade and specialising in employment discrimination law, maternity & parental rights and flexible working - speak on the current position of the law and the advantages and disadvantages in terms of different forms of statutory protection for carers. Briefing 458, Vol.32 contains a summary of the discussion.

Religion and belief: the current state of law

September 2007

Changes to the Religion and Belief regulations have created a situation in which there will be a difficult social and legal debate on what protection should be given to extreme religious, political and philosophical views, such as fascism and nationalism, religious fundamentalism, universal theocracy etc.

A talk by Declan O’Dempsey, who appeared in Azmi v Kirklees MBC (wearing of veils by teaching assistants), examines the concept of beliefs that are protected under the regulations and those that are not, and early tribunal cases which have tried to deal with this issue, as well as discussing religious dress/symbolism cases (including but not only Azmi). The talk also touches on some of the recent developments relating to goods and services discrimination in the 2006 Equality Act and mentions the conflicts between sexual orientation and religion embedded in the current law.

Using the Race Relations Act to protect migrant workers

July 2007

Migrant workers are suffering systematic discrimination precisely because they are migrants. The Race Relations Act was not designed to be used to protect migrant workers from such discrimination and exploitation, but in the absence of any other mechanisms:

  • Can the RRA be used either directly or indirectly to protect migrant workers from discrimination and exploitation?
  • Do DLA members have experience or suggestions on using the RRA to protect migrant workers?
  • Is there any best practice on this issue to share, or any planning and strategising to be done?

Juliette Nash of North Kensington Law Centre, who has issued claims on this basis and held discuss with the CRE, leads the discussion. Briefing 469, Vol.33 contains a summary of the discussion.

Joint Meeting: Strategic litigation on age related matters

April 2007

This joint DLA event with TAEN (The Age and Employment Network) and Justice discusses the core concepts involved in direct and indirect age discrimination, and the role of strategic cases with the aim of equipping participants to play an active role in the use of strategic cases to resolve issues arising from the Age Regulations.

Presentations are from Gay Moon of Justice, and Robin Allen QC and Declan O’Dempsey of Cloisters Chambers.

Sexual Orientation Regulations – Goods, Facilities and Services

March 2007

With the introduction of The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007, this PGM lead by Ulele Burnham of Doughty Street Chambers, discusses definitions, exemptions, and enforcement. Notes on the issue are available in Briefing 447, Vol. 31  

The new Public Sector Duties (DDA and Equality Act)

January 2007

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 amended the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) to insert the disability equality duty – known as the general duty – into the Act. The duty is aimed at tackling systemic discrimination, and ensuring that public authorities build disability equality into everything that they do. In addition, the Equality Act has introduced a similar duty on public authorities in relation to gender.

This PGM led by Catherine Casserley of the DRC and Jill Brown of Outer Temple Chambers examines the requirements of the duties and looks at how they might be used more generally in litigation carried out on behalf of disabled people and in litigation dealing with gender issues. Briefing 445, Vol.31 contains notes from the meeting.