Cases under the Equality Act

Doug Paulley made this Freedom of Information request to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service.

Dear Her Majesty’s Courts and the Tribunals Service,

Please can you tell me how many cases have been commenced in the County Courts in England and Wales against service providers for failure to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people contrary to S20 of the Equality Act 2015.

Please can you indicate how many such cases under S20 had the benefit of Legal Aid; similarly how many were taken by Litigants in Person.

Please can you indicate how many cases under the Equality Act 2010 have reached formal Trial.

Please tell me how many cases under the Equality Act 2010 that reached trial had the benefit of an Assessor to assist the Trial Judge; and how such assessors have been identified and appointed.

Where you do not hold this information, or are unable to obtain such without going over the S12 limit, please provide advice and assistance under S16, through making suggestions as to which body or bodies might be better able to assist me in obtaining this information, or providing what information you can within the limit.

Thank you

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

Weston, Bob (Gloucester),

1 Attachment

Hello Doug Paulley,
Please find attached an acknowledgement of your recent request. 
 
Bob Weston
 
Data Quality Manager
 
HMCTS - Finance Directorate - Performance, Analysis and Reporting Team
 
Tel: 01452 334448 or 0203 3345511
 
E [1][email address]
 
1st Floor | Twyver House | Bruton Way | Gloucester | GL1 1PE
 
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to make representation or other statements which may bind the Ministry of
Justice in any way via electronic means".

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Weston, Bob (Gloucester),

1 Attachment

Hello Doug Paulley,
Please find attached a response to your recent request.
 
Bob Weston
 
Data Quality Manager
 
HMCTS - Finance Directorate - Performance, Analysis and Reporting Team
 
Tel: 01452 334448 or 0203 3345511
 
E [1][email address]
 
1st Floor | Twyver House | Bruton Way | Gloucester | GL1 1PE
 
" I am not authorised to bind the Ministry of Justice contractually, nor
to make representation or other statements which may bind the Ministry of
Justice in any way via electronic means".
 
 

This e-mail (and any attachment) is intended only for the attention of
the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying
is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy
all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail.

Internet e-mail is not a secure medium. Any reply to this message
could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear that in
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This e-mail (whether you are the sender or the recipient) may be
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Dear Weston, Bob (Gloucester),

Thank you for the response, but I am disappointed. It's taken you 3 weeks to refuse all of my request; in my view that doesn't meet the requirement to send responses "promptly" (the 20 working day deadline is a long-stop, of course.) I'm also disappointed that you didn't provide more advice and assistance as I requested under S16.

The Legal Aid Agency is also an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice. I should have hoped that they would have data on the number of Equality Act cases funded by Legal Aid, and that the number of such cases would be so small that it would not breach the S12 limit to check how many of them were under S20 of the Equality Act. Yet you haven't provided that information; please explain? The fact that I had addressed my email "Dear Her Majety's Courts and Tribunal Service" is just a convenience; my request was sent to the Ministry of Justice, who are the body liable to the Freedon of Information Act, and I'd expect a response from the MOJ in all its forms.

The reason I submitted my request is that I am currently composing a written submission on the efficacy of the Equality Act as it applies to disability discrimination, for the House of Lords select committee on this matter, http://www.parliament.uk/business/commit... . I have also been called to give oral evidence. I shall ensure that I tell the Select Committee that my written and oral submissions have been sabotaged by the MOJ being unable to provide me with any of the information I have requested and failing to direct me to any other public authority that may hold this information.

I have to submit my written submission in ten days time. Please therefore reconsider rapidly and provide whatever information you can as to cases under the Act. I suggest you may wish to start by looking at the number of cases that had the support of legal aid.

As I asked in my original request, please provide advice and assistance under S16, through making suggestions as to which body or bodies might be better able to assist me in obtaining this information, or providing what information you can within the limit.

I guess this constitutes a request for an internal review, but I wish to make it clear that time is of the essence, so please prioritise sending information over reviewing your handling of this request..

Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Dear Weston, Bob (Gloucester),

The 2009 Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry for the Equality Bill made a formal recommendation:

"There is a lack of data on the number of DDA cases on goods, facilities and services in the county courts, although a number of witnesses presume the numbers to be very small. We recommend that the Government monitors the trends in the number of cases taken and their outcomes."

The Government responded:

"The Government will consider introducing changes to the county court IT system when there is an opportunity to do so. Until then, courts will be asked to manually gather information on DDA cases involving goods, facilities and services."

See bold paragraph 42 and non-bold paragraph 89 at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa... .

Directly after this Select Committee, the DDA was replaced by the Equality Act.

It is therfore clear that the Government promised that information on disability discrimination cases in the provision of goods and services would be collated. Your argument that you would have to go through each case in each court to see if it was for discrimination against disabled people in the provision of goods and services therefore does not hold water. You have been required to collate this information anyway, so please can I have it?

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

NW Regional Support Correspondence,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Paulley,
Please find attached an acknowledgement to your Internal Review request.
Jenny
 
Jenny Walker
Knowledge Information Liaison Officer
Assurance Team
Northwest Regional Support Unit
PO Box 4237
1 Bridge Street West
Manchester
M60 1TE
DX 724780 Manchester 44
 
Tel: 0161 240 5082
[1]The RSU welcomes your feedback.
Please click here to send us any comments.
 
I am not authorised to bind the Ministry of Justice contractually, nor to
make representations or other statements which may bind the Ministry of
Justice in any way via electronic means.
 
 

This e-mail (and any attachment) is intended only for the attention of
the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying
is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy
all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail.

Internet e-mail is not a secure medium. Any reply to this message
could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear that in
mind when deciding whether to send material in response to this message
by e-mail.

This e-mail (whether you are the sender or the recipient) may be
monitored, recorded and retained by the Ministry of Justice. E-mail
monitoring / blocking software may be used, and e-mail content may be
read at any time. You have a responsibility to ensure laws are not
broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their contents.

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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Helen Borodzicz left an annotation ()

Doug, your request in keeping with many other requests to HMCTS, assumes that there is a unified IT system across all courts. There is no such thing. You have asked for the impossible in my view.
You say the number of cases is small. But HMCTS would have to manually trawl through all the cases in order to find them. Put another way, it would be much easier for them if the number were large!
The Court of Appeal has a good IT system though. Perhaps you could get at least partial data from them.

Doug Paulley left an annotation ()

The Government promised the Work and Pensions select committee that they would manually collate information on such cases. See http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa....

"89. The Government will consider introducing changes to the county court IT system when there is an opportunity to do so. Until then, courts will be asked to manually gather information on DDA cases involving goods, facilities and services."

It wouldn't surprise me if they didn't collate the statistics as claimed, but I think it's reasonable to ask given that they promised to manually collate the statistics and so shouldn't be reliant on their IT system to provide it.

Helen Borodzicz left an annotation ()

Doug, the link you provide is to a report from 2008-2009. A great deal of water has since passed under the bridge. There have been savage cuts to both legal aid and the running of the courts. Many courts no longer even have public counters. That court staff should be gathering the data you seek would appear to be unthinkable.
What about making a request directly to the Legal Aid Agency. It can be done on this website.

Doug Paulley left an annotation ()

Helen

I know that there have been savage cuts to many services, and I know that I'm quite unlikely to get this information out of the MOJ. However I know I definitely won't get any information unless I ask. There is nothing wrong with me asking.

HMCTS and the Legal Aid Agency both have presences on this website as a convenience for our users, but they are both executive arms of the Ministry of Justice. It's the MOJ who has responsibilities under the Freedo of Information Act, not HMCTS / the LAA. That's why the FOI request address set for each of HMCTS, the Legal Aid Agency and the Ministry of Justice is exactly the same: data.access@justice.gsi.gov.uk as listed in https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati... .

Sending a request to "The Legal Aid Agency" via this website would result in it being sent in an email to data.access@justice.gsi.gov.uk. My request above was also sent to data.access@justice.gsi.gov.uk . There is therefore no point in duplicating my request by sending it to the LAA as well.

Doug

Helen Borodzicz left an annotation ()

Doug, I'm an oldie. I studied law when I was young.
I don't have much time for research presently. However I just googled Equality Act 2015 and it is an American law. Therefore it has no applicability in the UK.

Doug Paulley left an annotation ()

Yes, I made a typo in my request. The MOJ knew what I meant though, which is the Equality Act 2010. This is a British law.

NW Regional Support Correspondence,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Pauley,
 
Please find attached a response to your Internal Review.
 
Kind regards
 

Christopher J M Cox
Knowledge Information Liaison Officer

Assurance Team

 

North West Regional Support Unit
HM Courts & Tribunals Service

Manchester Civil Justice Centre

PO Box 4237
1 Bridge Street West
Manchester
M60 1TE

DX 724780 Manchester 44

T  0161 240 5082

F  0161 240 5915
E  christopher.cox[1]@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

 

 

[2]The RSU welcomes your feedback.

[3]Please click here to send us any comments.

 

I am not authorised to bind the Ministry of Justice
contractually, nor to make representations or other
statements which may bind the Ministry of Justice
in any way via electronic means.

 
 
 

This e-mail (and any attachment) is intended only for the attention of
the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying
is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy
all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail.

Internet e-mail is not a secure medium. Any reply to this message
could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear that in
mind when deciding whether to send material in response to this message
by e-mail.

This e-mail (whether you are the sender or the recipient) may be
monitored, recorded and retained by the Ministry of Justice. E-mail
monitoring / blocking software may be used, and e-mail content may be
read at any time. You have a responsibility to ensure laws are not
broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their contents.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

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