Proposed Short Response to Government Caste Consultation

ACLC Contribution

 

ACLC Govt. led Caste Consultation – Guidance to Community Members on Filling in Forms

Key outcome Objective – Repeal  legislation AND Case Law

The information provided by the Govt in the consultation document presents and offers “choices” that have pre-emptive questions and deceptive options that have the potential that members of Hindu & Jain Communities could misunderstand the process and potentially give responses that would compromise our communities’ future. This has been compounded by the conflicting advice some organisations have started to give out to the Hindu & Jain communities in filling in the consultation forms.

ACLC’s advice is as concise as we can make it. ACLC’s answers below are consistent in keeping Hindu and Jain Communities secure by seeking the repeal of both legislation and case law. To quote Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East from 2010 and founding Chairman of the Hindu APPG from 2013 and supported by Matthew Offord MP for Hendon, Mike Freer MP for Finchley and Golders Green and Henry Smith MP for Crawley. 

As Chair of the Hindu APPG from 2013, I have followed closely the caste legislation and its impacts on the Hindu community. The government’s current caste consultation is most welcome as I have been pressing for the community to have an opportunity to repeal this ill thought out, divisive and unnecessary legislation inflicted on the community by the Labour & Liberal Democrat parties. However, constituents have raised concerns that the consultation document is too legalistic and they have experienced difficulties in responding with a set of words that properly reflects their intentions. It should be clear that the Government is ensuring that anyone who claims that caste discrimination exists the opportunity to explain their evidence. I urge individuals to respond to the consultation making clear that they have not experienced caste discrimination and that this should be repealed. Having studied the Anti Caste Legislation Committee’s (ACLC) briefing papers on the potential impacts on individuals, businesses, community organisations and public authorities, and their assertion that case law could end up with adverse consequences, if re-elected, I would seek the support of the government and fellow MP’s to repeal both the caste clause in the legislation and Parliament to overturn any adverse judgements in case law.”

 

 

QuestionThe Short Response from an individualThe long Response from an individual
Questions for you to consider on option 1 - Prohibiting caste discrimination through developing case-law:
Q1. To what extent do you agree or disagree that protection against discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin provides an appropriate level of protection against caste discrimination?Strongly DisagreeStrongly Disagree
Q2. Why do you think this? Please explain your answer to Q1.Extension by case law to include caste should be repealed by the government together with the government’s obligation under Section 9(5) of the Equalities Act 2010 as amended. It is not necessary, appropriate and proportionate to have caste in discrimination law whether by case law or by legislation.Extension by case law to include caste as an aspect of race should be repealed by the government together with the government’s obligation pursuant to Section 9(5) of the Equalities Act 2010 as amended. It is not necessary, appropriate and proportionate to have caste as an aspect of race whether by case law or by legislation. The research by NIESR (carried out on behalf of the government) and the consultation document accepts that there is no evidence that caste discrimination exists.
Q3. Which types of caste discrimination, if any, do you think would not be covered by the concept of ethnic origin in case-law? Please clearly list the features of caste which you think are not covered by ethnic origin and explain why you think this.Please see reply to question 2 above.Please see reply to question 2 above.
Q4. What are the benefits (e.g. social and economic) of using case-law to implement a legal ban on caste discrimination?Please see reply to question 2 above. I do not envisage any benefits, only disadvantages on which see answer to Q5 below.Please see reply to question 2 above. I do not envisage any benefits, only disadvantages on which see answer to Q5 below.
Q5. What are the disadvantages (e.g. social and economic) of using case-law to implement a legal ban on caste discrimination? Q6. What are the benefits (e.g. social and economic) of inserting caste into the Equality Act 2010 as a specific aspect of race?Should the case-law and legislation not be repealed, the social disadvantages will be deepened and community cohesion will be threatened. Sections of the Dharmic community will be unjustifiably regarded as being hierarchical. Decisions as to relative status would be decided entirely subjectively. Should the case-law and legislation not be repealed, the social disadvantages will be deepened and community cohesion will not be assisted whereby sections of the Dharmic community will be arbitrarily regarded as being hierarchical. Furthermore, decisions as to relative status would be decided entirely subjectively. Small to medium sized businesses (of which are large number in the Dharmic community and tend to be family-run) already have burdens of compliance from existing regulatory and equality duties but will have additional obligations regarding caste. That will mean training will need to be provided, data monitoring be carried out and, should a dispute occur, substantive costs will be incurred to defend cases of which even the consultation document shows have only amounted to three in the last 10 years, two of which were not successful. This could lead to many small and medium sized business involved in such litigation becoming bankrupt.
Option 2 - Prohibition of caste discrimination by specifying caste in the Equality Act
Q6. What are the benefits (e.g. social and economic) of inserting caste into the Equality Act 2010 as a specific aspect of race?Please see reply to question 4 & 5 above. Please see reply to question 4 above.
Q7. What are the disadvantages (e.g. social and economic) of inserting caste into the Equality Act 2010 as a specific aspect of race?Please see reply to question 5 abovePlease see reply to question 5 above
Q8. There are also two specific provisions in the Equality Act 2010 that we would particularly like to get your opinion on – the Public Sector Equality Duty and positive action. To what extent do you agree or disagree that the following provisions should apply to caste:
8a)   Public Sector Equality DutyStrongly AgreeStrongly Agree
8b) Positive actionStrongly Disagree Strongly Disagree
Q9. Why do you think this? Please explain the reason for your answers to Q8a and/or Q8b
8a) Public Sector Equality DutyShould the government deem it necessary to have caste in discrimination law, whether by case-law or legislation, then this duty should apply to the public sector. Should the government deem it appropriate and necessary to have caste as an aspect of race, whether by case-law or legislation, then this duty should apply both to the public sector as it applies to the private sector. The public sector sets an example to the private sector.
8b) Positive actionI strongly object to this as it is contrary to a meritocratic societyI strongly object to this as it is contrary to a meritocratic society
Key summary questions for you to consider on options 1 and 2:
Q10. Which is your preferred option to tackle caste discrimination?OtherOther
Q11. Why do you think this? Please explain the reasons for you’re answerThe government should repeal the case-law and the duty in section 9(5) of the Equalities Act 2010. It is clear from the government’s own research carried out by NIESR that there is no clear and substantial evidence of caste discrimination. The government should have carried out an impact assessment before legislating.
Please also see reply to questions 2 and 5 above.
The government should repeal the case-law and the government’s duty as per Section 9(5) of the Equalities Act 2010 as subsequently amended. It is clear from the government’s own research carried out by NIESR and the EHRC where substantive public funds have been used for such research that there is no clear and substantial evidence of caste discrimination. The government has failed to carry out an impact assessment before legislating.
Q12. Can you provide any data on costs and benefits, including costs and benefits to individuals, of caste becoming an aspect of race in the Equality Act either through:
Q12 (A) A specific change to the legislation No. An impact assessment should have been carried out by the government before any legislation was introduced. The NIESR research found no evidence which can be relied upon that caste discrimination exits. No. An impact assessment should have been carried out by the government before any legislation was introduced. The NIESR research found no evidence which can be relied upon that caste discrimination exits.
Q12 B) Through reliance of case-law following the judgment in Tirkey v ChandhokSee reply to question 12(A) aboveSee reply to question 12(A) above. It is understood that in the case of Tirkey v Chandhok costs of the proceedings for Tirkey on a private basis were in the region of £189,000.00. The costs of Chandhok were in the region of £80,000.00.
Q. 16 Apart from the options covered in this document, is there anything else you think Government can do to prevent discrimination on grounds of caste in Britain?No. Please see reply to questions 2, 5 and 12(A) above.No. Please see reply to questions 2, 5 and 12(A) above.

Consent to Anti Caste Legislation Committee (ACLC)

1.      I support and endorse the policy of ACLC to repeal both the case law and caste Legislation.

2.      I consent to ACLC forwarding and liaison with the Govt offices on this issue on my behalf.

3.      I will share and encourage my family and friends to respond to the government Caste Consultation in accordance to the guidance and replies provided by ACLC.

4.      I will support the ACLC policy to lobby my local MP and parliament to do the same.

5.      I will circulate whatever briefing papers, notes and documents that are prepared by ACLC.

Please email us at aclc1uk@gmail.com with your contact details and your preference for using the ‘short’ or the ‘long’ version.

Anti Caste Legislation Committee

143 Cavendish Rd, Leicester, LE2 7PJ   M +44 77 1313 7425 * E- aclc1uk@gmail.com