The Law Society v Kamlesh Bahl: EAT 7 Jul 2003

EAT Sex Discrimination – Direct
The complainant had been suspended from her position as Vice President of the Law Society. The Society and its officers appealed findings of sex and race discrimination against her. The complainant appealed findings that she had lied to the tribunal on oath, and that the discrimination had been only indirect.
Held: The finding that she had lied under oath to the tribunal was not part of the tribunal’s order and could not be challenged on appeal. All unlawful discriminatory treatment is unreasonable, but not all unreasonable treatment is discriminatory, and it is not shown to be so merely because the victim is either a woman or of a minority race or colour. The fact of unreasonable behaviour operates to increase the possibility of finding explanations for behaviour challengeable. There must be evidence independent of hostile treatment to justify the inference of discrimination on proscribed grounds. It is not possible to state whether the chosen comparator would have been differently treated independently of knowing why the alleged victim was treated in the way in which he or she was. The tribunal erred in law in not distinguishing between the race and sex discrimination. The tribunal had failed to identify the facts upon which their inference of discrimination was based. The complete absence of evidence to support the allegation of discrimination whether for sex or race made the findings unsustainable. There was no proper basis for concluding that Mrs Betts was treating Dr. Bahl less favourably because of Dr. Bahl’s race or sex. Similarly, there was even less justification in the light of the evidence for imputing such improper discriminatory conduct to Mr Sayer.

The Honourable Mr Justice Elias
EAT/1057/01, EAT/1056/01, [2003] UKEAT 1056 – 01 – 3107
Bailii, EATn
Sex Discrimination Act 1975 12, Race Relations Act 1976 11
England and Wales
AppliedHarrod v Minister of Defence EAT 1981
The Employment Appeal Tribunal had no jurisdiction to hear appeals which do not attempt to disturb an order of the tribunal. . .
CitedRiniker v University College London (Practice Note) CA 5-Apr-2001
The Employment Appeal Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to hear an appeal which does not set out to disturb any part of the order made by the original tribunal. There is no inherent power in the Court of Appeal to bypass the prohibition in . .
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 . .
CitedSwiggs and others v Nagarajan HL 15-Jul-1999
Bias may not be intentional
The applicant claimed that he had been denied appointment to a job with London Regional Transport because he had brought a number of previous race discrimination claims against it or associated companies. An industrial tribunal had upheld his claim . .
CitedQureshi v Victoria University of Manchester EAT 21-Jun-1996
The Industrial Tribunal only has jurisdiction to consider and rule upon the act or acts of which complaint is made to it. The questions on a complaint of race discrimination are: (a) Did the act complained of actually occur? (b) If the act . .
CitedDr Anya v University of Oxford and Another CA 22-Mar-2001
Discrimination – History of interactions relevant
When a tribunal considered whether the motive for an act was discriminatory, it should look not just at the act, but should make allowance for earlier acts which might throw more light on the act in question. The Tribunal should assess the totality . .
CitedKing v Great Britain China Centre CA 1991
The court considered the nature of evidence which will be available to tribunals considering a race discrimination claim.
Held: A complainant must prove his or her case on the balance of probabilities, but it is unusual to find direct evidence . .
CitedMacDonald v Advocate General for Scotland (Scotland); Pearce v Governing Body of Mayfield School HL 19-Jun-2003
Three appeals raised issues about the way in which sex discrimination laws were to be applied for cases involving sexual orientation.
Held: The court should start by asking what gave rise to the act complained of. In this case it was the . .
CitedStrathclyde Regional Council v Zafar; Zafar v Glasgow City Council HL 16-Oct-1997
The absence of any other explanation for the unfair dismissal of a black worker, does not of itself and inescapably lead to finding of race bias, or racial discrimination. He had been dismissed following complaints of sexual harassment, later found . .
CitedMarks and Spencer Plc v Martins CA 19-Dec-1997
The court emphasised the ubiquitous need to make the findings of primary fact without which it is impossible to consider the drawing of relevant inferences. A tribunal hearing a race discrimination case must ask the question as put by the Act; there . .
CitedEffa v Alexandra Healthcare NHS Trust CA 5-Nov-1999
The tribunal’s decision was found to have confused unreasonable treatment with discriminatory treatment. ‘It is common ground that an error in law is made by a tribunal if it finds less favourable treatment on racial grounds where there is no . .
CitedChief Constable of West Yorkshire Police v Khan HL 11-Oct-2001
The claimant was a police sergeant. After many years he had not been promoted. He began proceedings for race discrimination. Whilst those were in course, he applied for a post elsewhere. That force wrote to his own requesting a reference. In the . .
CitedMeek v City of Birmingham District Council CA 18-Feb-1987
Employment Tribunals to Provide Sufficient Reasons
Tribunals, when giving their decisions, are required to do no more than to make clear their findings of fact and to answer any question of law raised.
Bingham LJ said: ‘It has on a number of occasions been made plain that the decision of an . .
CitedChapman and Another v Simon CA 1994
The Industrial Tribunal has no jurisdiction to consider and rule upon other acts of racial discrimination not included in the complaints in the Originating Application.
Racial discrimination may be established as a matter of direct primary . .
CitedGovernors of Warwick Park School v Hazelhurst CA 2001
‘In my judgment the Employment Appeal Tribunal were correct to hold that there was an error of law in the decision of the Employment Tribunal as identified by the Employment Appeal Tribunal. In a situation in which it is expressly found that there . .
CitedEnglish v Emery Reimbold and Strick Ltd; etc, (Practice Note) CA 30-Apr-2002
Judge’s Reasons Must Show How Reached
In each case appeals were made, following Flannery, complaining of a lack of reasons given by the judge for his decision.
Held: Human Rights jurisprudence required judges to put parties into a position where they could understand how the . .
CitedRobertson v Bexley Community Centre CA 11-Mar-2003
The claimant brought his claim in discrimination, but it was out of time. The employer appealed against a decision to extend the time for him to file his complaint.
Held: A tribunal has a very wide discretion in the area of whether to extend . .
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 . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromLaw Society v Bahl CA 30-Jul-2004
The claimant had succeeded before the employment tribunal in her claim of race discrimination by the respondent and senior officers. She now appealed the reversal of that judgment. The claimant asked the tribunal to draw inferences of discrimination . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Discrimination

Updated: 13 January 2022; Ref: scu.185270