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Ethical Veganism as a Protected Philosophical Belief – Jordi Casamitjana Costa

Slater and Gordon is acting for Jordi Casamitjana Costa in his case which, if successful, will establish ethical veganism as a protected philosophical belief for the first time under discrimination legislation. The hearing on this issue will take place on the 2nd and 3rd January 2020 at Norwich Employment Tribunal. Only the second day, 3rd  January, will be open to the public.

Jordi has made the following statement:

“I am an Ethical Vegan. This involves much more than just not eating food with animal ingredients, it’s a philosophy and a belief system which encompasses most aspects of my life.”

For more information, follow this link to a BBC article on the case.

Slater and Gordon principal employment lawyer Peter Daly has made the following statement:

“Ethical veganism is a philosophical belief held by a significant and growing portion of the population in the UK and around the world.  This case, if successful, will establish that the belief entitles ethical vegans protection from discrimination. The case we have prepared sets out how the belief in principle, and how Jordi’s particular interpretations of it, comprehensively meet the required legal test.

“We are particularly pleased to have been able to assist in furthering greater public awareness and understanding of both ethical veganism and this complex and important area of law by publishing the documents relevant to the case so they can be read by a wider audience.”

Follow Up statement by Jordi issued on the 03/01/2020 at 12:30:

"I’m very grateful to present our case today, supporting the protection of ethical veganism. This has taken considerable effort to compile and we hope it will persuade the judge, first that I am the ethical vegan I say I am, and second, how ethical veganism fulfils all the legal requirements to be accepted as a protected ‘non-religious philosophical belief’.

“I am not alone. Many people have supported me because they, or their friends, have experienced discrimination for being ethical vegans. Hopefully, from my dismissal, something positive will come by ensuring other ethical vegans are better protected in the future. Myself and the legal team supporting me are confident of success, but this is a complex matter which remains ongoing. I really want to thank those who have supported me so far through crowdjustice.com and I hope others may join them as I haven't achieved my final target yet.

“Better protection means more vegans will be able to be open about their beliefs. This can only be a good thing for the billions of animals still exploited by humans, an environment under duress and stressed public health.”

Peter Daly, the employment lawyer from Slater and Gordon representing Mr Casamitjana said: “I’m pleased with how the hearing today has gone and we look forward to receiving the full judgement in due course. This was the first of a two part employment tribunal. Now the question of ethical veganism has been determined by the judge, the litigation will move on to determine the lawfulness of Jordi’s treatment by the League Against Cruel Sports."

“The recognition of ethical veganism as a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 will have potentially significant effects on employment and the workplace, education, transport and the provision of goods and services.

The legal team including my colleagues at Slater and Gordon and Jordi’s counsel, Chris Milsom at Cloisters, are very pleased with the result”

Jordi Casamitjana said: "I’m extremely happy with the outcome of this hearing and for the words of the judge who clearly understood what ethical veganism is. I didn’t expect to have a judgement today but the overwhelming weight of the evidence we have provided seems to have been sufficient for the judge to conclude that I’m the ethical vegan I say I am, and that ethical veganism is a protected ‘non-religious philosophical belief’.

“I am not alone. Many people have supported me because they, or their friends, have experienced discrimination for being ethical vegans. Hopefully, from my dismissal, something positive will come by ensuring other ethical vegans are better protected in the future. I really want to thank those who have supported me so far through crowdjustice.com and I hope others may join them as I haven't achieved my final target yet.

“Better protection means more vegans will be able to be open about their beliefs. This can only be a good thing for the billions of animals still exploited by humans, an environment under duress and stressed public health.”

Media photos of Jordi Casamitjana Costa [Link]

At the Tribunal’s direction we are releasing the following documents (in .pdf format):

  • The Hearing Bundle [Link]
  • The Claimant’s Witness Statement [Link]
  • The Witness Statement of Professor Jeff McMahan, Whites Professor of Moral Philosophy at Corpus Christi College Oxford [Link]
  • The Witness Statement of Dr Jeannette Rowley, founder of the International Vegan Rights Alliance [Link]
  • Written Submissions of Claimant’s Counsel, Chris Milsom of Cloisters Chambers [Link]

This case has been supported by a crowd funding campaign. Further donations can be made here

The hearing on 2nd and 3rd January will only deal with the status of ethical veganism as a protected philosophical belief. Following this a full merits hearing will take place into the employment dispute, this is planned for February 2020.

For any media enquiries, please contact Megan Hunt on megan.hunt@slatergordon.uk or 0750 314 9691.

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