Inclusion London intervenes in legal case about access to justice for Disabled People

We supported disabled campaigner Esther Leighton in court on 28 January

The case was brought by a disabled campaigner Esther Leighton who used the Equality Act 2010 to challenge discrimination she faced and knows first-hand how difficult and risky it can be. Our Director of Campaigns and Justice, Svetlana Kotova presented evidence supporting Esther’s case in court on 28 January 2020. You can find more information about the case here.

We supported Esther’s case because we believe the Equality Act 2010 is not working well for Disabled people. On the one hand it is left to us to police and enforce it, and on the other the barriers we face in challenging discrimination in court mean it is extremely difficult and often impossible to do.

The aim of the case is to challenge the government’s refusal to extend One Way Qualified Cost Shifting regime to discrimination cases. This regime works well for personal injury cases and protects those bringing claims to court from having to pay the other party’s legal costs.

In our intervention we presented the evidence we gathered while supporting Disabled people and DDPOs to challenge discrimination through legal action during our Disability Justice Project. We explained the difficulties Disabled people face, the impact on our access to justice and the wider impact on the effectiveness of the Equality Act. We also asked the court to consider the UK’s duties under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Read our witness statement here.

We are grateful to Chris Fry from Fry Law and Catherine Casserley from Cloisters Chambers for their support with our intervention.