FOI Request - Equalities & Human Rights Commission - Equality Act Discrimination Legal Claims by Students against Universities in England

David Gale made this Freedom of Information request to Equality and Human Rights Commission

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The request was partially successful.

Dear Sirs

FOI Request - Equalities & Human Rights Commission - Equality Act Discrimination Legal Claims by Students against Universities in England

Please provide the following information under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000:

1. How many discrimination court claims / applications have been made against universities in England for each of the years since the Equality Act 2010 was enacted?

2. How many of those claims were made by students / ex-students?

3. How many of those student claims received legal aid?

4. How many of those student claims had legal representation?

5. How many of those student claims were made by litigants in person?

6. How many of those claims went to full trial?

7. How many of those claims were struck out before trial?

8. What processes does the EHRC have in place to record Equality Act 2010 discrimination court claims against universities in England, made by students acting as litigants in person?

If this request places too great a burden on the EHRC, please provide the last three years’ of available data. A response containing raw data / spreadsheets will suffice for the purposes of this FOI request.

For context, our FOI request is made in parallel to the following, as yet, un-promoted petition that has been forwarded by the Rt Hon Dame Margaret Beckett MP to the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions... .

Yours faithfully

David Gale

Freedom of Information, Equality and Human Rights Commission

4 Attachments

Dear David

 

Subject: Freedom of Information Request

 

Thank you for your email dated 20 July 2018 in which you made the
following Freedom of Information requests:

1.         How many discrimination court claims / applications have been
made against universities in England for each of the years since the
Equality Act 2010 was enacted?

 

2.         How many of those claims were made by students / ex-students?

 

3.         How many of those student claims received legal aid?

 

4.         How many of those student claims had legal representation?

 

5.         How many of those student claims were made by litigants in
person?

 

6.         How many of those claims went to full trial?

 

7.         How many of those claims were struck out before trial?

 

8.         What processes does the EHRC have in place to record Equality
Act 2010 discrimination court claims against universities in England, made
by students acting as litigants in person?

 

As your email amounts to a request for information that the Commission may
hold, in accordance with the requirements of section 10 of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, we will respond promptly and in any event no later
than 20 working days following the date of receipt of the request. In this
instance a response will be with you no later than 17 August 2018. If for
any reason we are not able to meet this deadline, we will notify you and
give you an indication of when we will send you a full response.

Yours sincerely

 

EHRC Corporate Correspondence Team

 

[1][Equality and Human Rights Commission request email]

 

Correspondence Unit | Arndale Centre, Arndale House, Manchester, M4 3AQ

[2]cid:image006.png@01D33B87.D446CD70[3]cid:image002.png@01D104DE.D0EB56F0[4]cid:image003.png@01D104DE.D0EB56F0[5]cid:image004.png@01D104DE.D0EB56F0

 

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Freedom of Information, Equality and Human Rights Commission

5 Attachments

Dear David

 

Please find attached our response to your Freedom of Information request.

 

Yours sincerely

 

EHRC Corporate Correspondence Team

 

[1][Equality and Human Rights Commission request email]

  

Correspondence Unit | Arndale Centre, Arndale House, Manchester, M4 3AQ

[2]cid:image006.png@01D33B87.D446CD70[3]cid:image002.png@01D104DE.D0EB56F0[4]cid:image003.png@01D104DE.D0EB56F0[5]cid:image004.png@01D104DE.D0EB56F0

 

Note: To see how we use your personal data when you give it to us, please
go to [6]https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/p... on our
website to read our Privacy Notice. If you would like us to send you a
printed copy of the Privacy Notice please write to: Correspondence Unit |
Arndale Centre, Arndale House, Manchester, M4 3AQ

 

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Dear Sirs

Ref: FOI Request - Equalities & Human Rights Commission - Equality Act Discrimination Legal Claims by Students against Universities in England

Thank you for your response and the attached letter 'FOI1231 Gale 20180809 ResponseLetter.pdf '

I would also like to thank you for taking the time to outline the EHRC's proposed actions moving forward. I believe that the communications between us have identified the significant gap in regulatory provision in relation to the logging of student's disability discrimination complaints and claims against universities. The process gap is not helped by evidenced failures in universities' complaints processes, as well as the Office of the Independent Complaints Adjudicator's declaration that it cannot make a ruling on discrimination complaints against universities. Too many of these cases are falling into a black hole.

As a consultant public sector Chief Information Officer, I am of the professional opinion that widening the remit of the Employment Tribunal (to become the Employment & Equalities Tribunal), to include all equality related cases (including those of 'non-employees'), in conjunction with properly defined processes for scrutiny and governance at every stage, presents the best opportunity to ensure that students do not fall victim to universities that choose to abuse their relative position of strength. In essence, students who have been discriminated against can be denied a fair hearing unless they mount an expensive discrimination claim at the County Court. Too often, the few complaints that make it through to a legal claim are struck-out in preliminary court hearings because the student is having to act as a litigant in person against a team of insurance company funded lawyers representing a university.

Whilst I await the outcome of the EHRC's review and allocation procedure in relation to my own ongoing case (E00DE201), I would very much appreciate the longer term opportunity to further engage with the EHRC, in defining the process and information management requirements around university disability discrimination complaints, to ensure that what has happened to me (and other students of whose cases I am aware), never again happens to anyone else.

Yours faithfully

David Gale