RJW client Fawcett Society to take government to court over unlawful budget

From: Russell Jones & Walker
Published: Mon Aug 09 2010

RJW client The Fawcett Society has filed papers with the High Court in order to get a Judicial Review of the government's recent emergency budget.

The Fawcett Society believes that the government should have used an equality impact assessment to determine whether its budget proposals would increase or reduce inequality between women and men. Despite repeated requests from the society, the Treasury has not provided any evidence that any such an equality impact assessment took place.

A top line assessment of the budget measures show 72% of cuts will be met from women's income with the remaining 28% from men's, due to many of the cuts being to benefits that more women than men rely on. Additionally the changes to the tax system will benefit far more men than women.

Since 2006 the government has been bound by a gender equality duty which obligates it to actively promote equality between the sexes.

Samantha Mangwana, employment solicitor at Russell Jones & Walker who is representing the Fawcett Society, said: "Although public authorities have been subject to the gender equality duty for several years now, there is widespread ignorance not only about how strong these laws actually are, but also what specific steps are required to be undertaken. However, the case law is crystal clear in spelling this out. Firstly, an equality impact assessment must be conducted before policy decisions are taken.

"Secondly, where an assessment reveals a risk of sex discrimination, urgent action must be taken to address those risks. Clearly, if the equality impact is not even assessed as a starting point, a public authority cannot start to consider what steps to take to mitigate any inequality."

About Russell Jones & Walker
Russell Jones & Walker is a leading national firm of solicitors dedicated to upholding the legal rights of individuals. From the firm’s foundation in the 1920s the focus has and continues to be, people and those who represent them.

The firm has grown from its trade union roots into a respected national organisation with nine offices across England and Wales, and an associated office in Scotland. The reputation of Russell Jones & Walker is built on the range of expertise offered by its partners and staff and on the scope of their practical experience.

RJW Solicitors represents clients across a range of areas with many employment solicitors, personal injury solicitors, business crime solicitors and specialities in commercial and criminal litigation, defamation, reputation management, clinical negligence and discrimination at work as well as providing specialties in fraud.

For further information contact:
Samantha Mangwana
Russell Jones & Walker
50-52 Chancery Lane
0207 657 1526
Company: Russell Jones & Walker
Contact Name: Samantha Mangwana
Contact Email: enquiries@pr-sending.co.uk
Contact Phone: 0207 657 1526

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