Employment Tribunal unequivocal on discrimination stance as gay lawyer wins action

  • Print
  • Comments (6)

Readers' comments (6)

  • First

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • As an observer at the trial it was interesting to see on the final day of the proceedings that Antony Brown tried to adduce new evidence into the case. This new evidence was the Ali G DVD "Ali G IndaHouse". Brown wanted to play part of the movie to the judges to show that the use of the term "batty boy" was used in the movie and this was shown up and down the country in cinemas. The judges did not wish to watch the DVD

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • So Antony Brown actually thought that a simple and authoritative “I’m satisfied that Mr Bechelet does not hold homophobic views and […] I’m entirely satisfied that this was an isolated incident” would knock the matter on the head?
    I hope a lesson has been learned.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • During a meeting Brown had with Bennett in October 2009 he said to Bennett "if your strategy was to hang outside lavatories, if it develops work I would say it was the best strategy in the world." When Bennett stated this in evidence, Brown's counsel called Bennett a liar and suggested that the meeting had not taken place and that Brown had not made this statement. However, Bennett then introduced a covert tape recording of the meeting. Brown then said in evidence that it had been a conscious joke in which no offence had been intended. The Tribunal concluded that Brown's comment had not caused offence to Bennett nor had it been intended offensively. The Tribunal did say that Brown had himself shown a level of stereotypical assumptions in his "hanging outside lavatories" remark.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "Is this for real? This is so bad! It must be a breach of the code of conduct and something the SRA would deal with. I agree with comment above.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Discriminatory conduct would fall within Code 6 (Equality and Diversity) of the Rules of Conduct and as such something that the SRA would deal with.
    Rule 5.01 deals with supervision and management responsibilities, and states:
    If you are a recognised body, a manager of a recognised body or a recognised sole practitioner, you must make arrangements for the effective management of the firm as a whole, and in particular provide for [various matters including]:
    compliance with rule 6 (Equality and diversity)
    Rule 6.02:
    Where there has been a decision of a court or tribunal of the United Kingdom in proceedings to which you are a party, that you have committed, or are to be treated as having committed, an unlawful act of discrimination then that finding shall be treated as evidence of a breach of this rule.
    Rule 6.03:
    If you are a recognised body, a manager of a recognised body or a recognised sole practitioner, you must adopt and implement an appropriate policy for preventing discrimination and harassment and promoting equality and diversity within your firm. You must take all reasonable steps to ensure that all employees, partners, members and directors are aware of, and act in compliance with, its provisions and that it is made available to clients, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and other relevant third parties where required.
    6.04:
    If you have management responsibilities in in-house practice you must use all reasonable endeavours to secure the adoption and implementation of an appropriate policy for preventing discrimination and promoting equality and diversity within your department. You must take all reasonable steps to ensure that all staff within that department are aware of, and act in accordance with, its provisions.
    6.06 (4):
    • You should be aware that, whilst the provisions contained in this rule are based upon legislative provisions, this rule goes beyond the scope of the legislation in a number of key areas and in particular in relation to age discrimination.
    In particular you should note that it requires you to refrain from discriminating against all of those persons referred to in 6.01(1) in all of the circumstances referred to. There is no limitation in this requirement to discrimination occurring only in particular circumstances. Thus, for example, whilst the law dealing with age discrimination currently applies only in relation to employment and vocational training, this rule applies to all of your professional dealings with barristers, other lawyers, clients or third parties.
    6.06 (21):
    Whilst decisions of unlawful discrimination by an employment tribunal are not binding on the SRA or the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in determining whether an allegation of misconduct involving discrimination is well founded, such decisions are admissible in evidence in disciplinary proceedings. The SRA or the Tribunal must determine whether an allegation or decision of discrimination against you amounts to misconduct. The starting point for this will be that the decision represents a strong indindication that misconduct has taken place and it will be for you to show why, despite the decision, there has not been misconduct.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

Mandatory Required Fields

Mandatory

Comments that are in breach or potential breach of our terms and conditions in particular clause 8, may not be published or, if published, may subsequently be taken down. In addition we may remove any comment where a complaint is made in respect of it. These actions are at our sole discretion.

  • Print
  • Comments (6)