BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: UK Politics
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Interviews 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Thursday, 22 November, 2001, 11:23 GMT
Irvine not guilty of discrimination
Lord Irvine
Lord Irvine is head of the judiciary
A decision by the Lord Chancellor to appoint a friend to be his special adviser did not mean he was guilty of sex or race discrimination, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

An employment tribunal in Croydon had decided Lord Irvine indirectly discriminated against Jane Coker, a white solicitor, and Martha Osamor, a black legal adviser, in giving Garry Hart a 73,000 job without advertising the post.


It does not follow, however, that this practice is unobjectionable

Court of Appeal
But that ruling was overturned by the Employment Appeals Tribunal - a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal on Thursday.

The Master of the Rolls, Lord Phillips, Lord Justice Schiemann and Lord Justice Mummery ruled: "Making an appointment from within a circle of family, friends and personal acquaintances is seldom likely to constitute indirect discrimination."

Despite dismissing the appeal they added: "It does not follow, however, that this practice is unobjectionable.

Garry Hart
Mr Hart is a friend of Lord Irvine
"It may not produce the best candidate for the post.

"It may be likely to result in the appointee being of a particular gender or racial group.

"It may infringe the principle of equal opportunities."

An request to make an appeal in the House of Lords was turned down.

Robin Allen QC, who represented Ms Coker, said the case raised points of "real public importance".

And he argued that the judges themselves had shown concern about their own ruling.

See also:

19 Feb 01 | Talking Politics
Lord Irvine: A 'blunder' too far?
12 Jun 01 | UK Politics
Reshuffle shows 'cronyism' - MP
16 Aug 01 | UK Politics
'Tribunals must become independent'
20 Apr 98 | UK
Lord Irvine opens his doors
23 Oct 99 | The Economy
Brown accused of cronyism
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK Politics stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK Politics stories