Court ruling on discrimination against Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers

On 21 January 2015, the High Court of Justice of England and Wales held that the conduct of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in relation to certain planning decisions amounted to indirect discrimination against Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers.

The Judge concluded that the practice of the Secretary of State was contrary to section 19 of the Equality Act 2010.

The Equal Rights Trust welcomed the judgment and called on the Secretary of State to carry out an immediate and thorough equality assessment of planning policies and practices. The Executive Director of the Trust, Dimitrina Petrova, commented that:

This decision reiterates the importance of the Public Sector Equality Duty and demonstrates that the Government cannot simply pay lip service to it, or even worse, ignore it. All levels of Government must give heightened attention to the advancement of equality of Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers to combat the severe discrimination that they face in their everyday lives.

Court ruling