Equality and Human Rights Commission inquiry: Discrimination going unchallenged in legal aid system

‘Challenging complex issues such as discrimination should never be a David vs Goliath battle, and the system is failing if individuals are left to fight cases themselves at an employment tribunal or in court.’

This is according to a June 2019 report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which warns that victims of discrimination are being denied their fundamental right to justice.

The inquiry identified a number of barriers to representation, including rules which effectively limit funding to cases with high compensation awards. It recommends that the government change its guidance so that discrimination claims are not assumed to be simply a claim for damages.

The report also finds that Exceptional Case Funding (ECF), designed as a safety net for cases where legal aid is not usually available but a victim’s fundamental rights are at risk, is not working as it should. The EHRC is calling for the government to produce specific guidance on ECF for discrimination cases.

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