10 September 2009
EAT rules race discrimination case should be held in public
The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that a case of alleged race discrimination involving the Ministry of Defence (MOD) should be held in public.
Partly funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the case involves a soldier who claims he was the victim of discrimination and physical and verbal racial abuse from colleagues while serving in Afghanistan.
Initially, the MoD successfully called for the case to be held in private due to issues of national security.
However, the EAT has overturned this and decreed that part of the hearing will take place in public.
The EHRC's John Wadham said: "This is a significant case with implications for future cases involving national security and, crucially, a person's right to a fair and open hearing."
It is no longer the case that the MoD can expect that where matters of national security are concerned, a hearing will automatically occur in private, he added.
The EHRC exists to promote equality and human rights, as well as to create a fairer society.