Coker and Osamor v The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chancellor’s Department: CA 22 Nov 2001

The Lord Chancellor’s action in appointing to a special adviser’s post someone he already knew and trusted, without first advertising the post openly, was not an act of sex or race discrimination. Had they applied, they would not have been appointed because they were not personally known to the Lord Chancellor. In practice a post had been created for the person appointed. It was claimed that the requirement that the applicant be known to the Lord Chancellor, and be acceptable to him, had a disproportionate requirement against women and against non-white applicants. If the tribunal had reasoned that such a requirement would exclude greater proportions of such potential applicants, then the reasoning was wrong. Indirect discrimination requirement looked at the effect on the pool of potential candidates. It was discriminatory only if a significant proportion of the pool were able to satisfy the requirement. Where the requirement excluded almost the entirety of the pool, it could not constitute discrimination within the statutes. Since the requirement excluded everyone except the person appointed, it could have had no disproportionate effect on the different groupings within the pool.
Lord Phillips Mr, Lord Justice Schiemann, And, Lord Justice Mummery
Times 03-Dec-2001, Gazette 17-Jan-2002, [2001] EWCA Civ 1756, [2002] Emp LR 91, [2002] IRLR 80, [2002] ICR 321
Sex Discrimination Act 1975 1(1)(b), Equal Treatment Directive (76/207/EEC) (OJ 1976 L39/40), Race Relations Act 1976
England and Wales
Appeal fromCoker and Osamor v Lord Chancellor and Lord Chancellor’s Department ET 28-Jul-1999
It was capable of being indirect sex-discrimination to appoint a person to a post from a circle of friends. This would necessarily restrict appointees to a group which favoured men more than women. The requirement that the Lord Chancellor should . .

Cited by:
CitedShamoon v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary HL 27-Feb-2003
The applicant was a chief inspector of police. She had been prevented from carrying out appraisals of other senior staff, and complained of sex discrimination.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. The tribunal had taken a two stage approach. It . .

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Updated: 07 January 2021; Ref: scu.166924