Equality Bill [HL]—continued
Part 4—continued
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Assistance to others

46     Questionnaires relating to acts made unlawful by Part 2

(1)    This section has effect for the purposes of—
(a)    helping a person (“A”) to decide whether to make a complaint under section 7 alleging that another person (“B”) has done an act made unlawful under Part 2; and
(b)    if A decides to make a complaint, helping him to formulate and present his case in the most effective manner.
(2)    The Commission must draw up—
(a)    forms by which A may question B on any matter which is or may be relevant; and
(b)    forms on which B may, if he so wishes, reply to any questions.
(3)    Where A questions B (whether use is made of any form drawn up under subsection (2) or not), the question and any reply by B is to be admissible in evidence in any proceedings under Part 5.
(4)    If in any proceedings under Part 5 it appears to a tribunal or court that A questioned B (whether use is made of any form drawn up under subsection (2) or not) and that—
(a)    B deliberately and without reasonable excuse omitted to reply within a reasonable period; or
(b)    that his reply is evasive or equivocal;
    the tribunal or court may draw any inference which it considers is just and equitable to draw, including an inference that B did the unlawful act complained of.
(5)    This section is without prejudice to any other enactment or rule of law regulating interlocutory and preliminary matters in proceedings before a tribunal or court, and has effect subject to any enactment or rule of law regulating the admissibility of evidence in such proceedings.

47     Assistance to persons in connection with certain proceedings

(1)    In this section “relevant proceedings” means—
(a)    proceedings which a person or body has brought or proposes to bring under section 7 of this Act;
(b)    proceedings which a person has brought or proposes to bring under section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (c. 42) which concern the matters for which this Act makes provision;
(c)    proceedings which a person has brought or proposes to bring before the European Court of Human Rights against the United Kingdom which concern the application of article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights; and
(d)    any other proceedings which are prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph, being proceedings in which a person who is a member of a relevant group (within the meaning of section 45(6)) relies, or proposes to rely, on the fact that he belongs to that group.
(2)    Where the person concerned applies to the Commission for assistance in relation to any relevant proceedings, the Commission must consider the application and may, if it thinks fit, grant the application on any of the following grounds—
(a)    that the case raises a question of principle;
(b)    that it is unreasonable to expect the applicant to deal with the case unaided (because of its complexity, because of the applicant's position in relation to another party or for some other reason);
(c)    that there is some other special consideration which makes it appropriate for the Commission to provide assistance.
(3)    If the Commission grants an application it may—
(a)    provide or arrange for the provision of legal advice;
(b)    arrange for legal or other representation (which may include any assistance usually given by a solicitor or counsel);
(c)    seek to procure the settlement of the dispute;
(d)    provide or arrange for the provision of any other assistance which it thinks appropriate.
(4)    Subsection (3)(b) does not affect the law and practice as to who may represent a person in relation to any proceedings.

PART 5

ENFORCEMENT

CHAPTER 1

JURISDICTION

48     Matters referred to a tribunal

(1)    Where a provision of this Act provides for any matter to be referred to a tribunal, the matter is to be referred to an employment tribunal if the matter falls within section 49, 50 or 51.
(2)    Where the matter referred to a tribunal falls outside the employment field, the tribunal hearing the matter is to operate under the name “equality tribunal”.
(3)    In this Part—
(a)    references to the respondent to a complaint or application are to the person against whom the complaint or application is made; and
(b)    where the respondent is a person who, by virtue section 19, is to be treated as having done a particular act, references to a person doing any act made unlawful by any provision of this Act are to be construed as references to the person whose act is the subject of the complaint.

49     Education cases concerning admission to or exclusion from schools etc

(1)    This section applies where—
(a)    a complaint under section 7 alleges that an act made unlawful by any provision of Part 2 has been done in the protected area of activity specified in section 6(1)(c);
(b)    the allegation relates to an admissions decision or an exclusion decision; and
(c)    appeal arrangements enabling any person to make an appeal against such a decision have been made under—
(i)    section 94 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (c. 31);
(ii)    section 52(3)(c) of the Education Act 2002 (c. 32); or
(iii)    an agreement entered into between the body responsible for an Academy and the Secretary of State under section 482 of the Education Act 1996 (c. 56).
(2)    The complaint under section 7 is to be made under the appeal arrangements specified in subsection (1)(c).
(3)    The body hearing the claim must exercise the powers that it has under those arrangements.
(4)    “Admissions decision” means—
(a)    a decision of a kind mentioned in section 94(1) or (2) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (c. 31); or
(b)    a decision as to the admission of a person to an Academy which is taken by the body responsible for the Academy or on its behalf.
(5)    “Exclusions decision” means—
(a)    a decision of a kind mentioned in section 52(3)(c) of the Education Act 2002 (c. 32); or
(b)    a decision not to reinstate a pupil who has been permanently excluded from an Academy by its head teacher which is taken by the body responsible for the Academy or on its behalf.

50     Education cases brought on disability grounds

(1)    This section applies to any complaint under section 7, or application under section 61, which alleges that a body responsible for a school has, in relation to any person, acted on disability grounds in a way made unlawful by any provision of Part 2.
(2)    The complaint or application is to be made to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
(3)    A complaint or application must be made before the end of the period of six months beginning with—
(a)    the date on which the act complained of was done; or
(b)    in a case in which subsection (4) applies, the date on which the alleged victim of the act discovered the concealment or could with reasonable diligence have discovered it.
(4)    This subsection applies where—
(a)    any fact relevant to the complaint or application was deliberately concealed from the alleged victim by the person alleged to have done the unlawful act; and
(b)    the alleged victim did not discover the concealment (or could not with reasonable diligence have discovered it) until afterwards.
(5)    If it satisfied that the allegation is well founded, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal may make such order as it considers reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.
(6)    The power conferred by subsection (5)—
(a)    may, in particular, be exercised with a view to obviating or reducing the adverse effect on the person concerned and on any other person of any matter to which the complaint or application relates; but
(b)    does not include power to order the payment of any sum by way of compensation.
(7)    Schedule 6 makes provision as to the jurisdiction and procedure of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
(8)    In this section—
(a)    “disability grounds”, in relation to any person, means a reason or reasons related to any disability that person has or had; and
(b)    the reference to a body responsible for a school is to be construed in accordance with—
(i)    paragraph 20 of Schedule 2 (in the case of a school in England and Wales); and
(ii)    paragraph 21 of that Schedule (in the case of a school in Scotland).

51     Immigration cases

(1)    This section applies where a complaint under section 7, or application under section 61, alleges that—
(a)    in taking any decision under the Immigration Acts relating to the entitlement of the relevant person to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, an immigration authority has done an act made unlawful by any provision of Part 2; or
(b)    by virtue of section 17 or 19, another person is to be treated as having done that act.
(2)    No complaint or application may be made if—
(a)    the question whether the act complained of was unlawful has been, or could have been, raised in proceedings on an appeal which is pending, or could be brought, under the 1997 Act or Part 5 of the 2002 Act (and for these purposes, any power to grant leave to appeal out of time is to be disregarded); or
(b)    in proceedings on an appeal under the 1997 Act or Part 5 of the 2002 Act, it has been decided that the act in question was not unlawful.
(3)    Where, in proceedings on an appeal under the 1997 Act or Part 5 of the 2002 Act, it has been decided that an act to which a complaint or application relates was unlawful, any tribunal or court hearing a complaint or application made under this Act must treat that act as an act which is unlawful for the purposes of the proceedings before it.
(4)    The following decisions are not to be subject to challenge or otherwise affected by virtue of a decision of a tribunal or court made under this Act—
(a)    any decision under the Immigration Acts which is made by an immigration authority and which relates to the entitlement of a relevant person to enter or remain in the United Kingdom; and
(b)    any decision in proceedings on an appeal under the 1997 Act or Part 5 of the 2002 Act which—
(i)    relates to a decision falling within paragraph (a); and
(ii)    is made by an adjudicator appointed for the purposes of Part 5 of the 2002 Act, the Immigration Appeal Tribunal, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, the Court of Appeal, the Court of Session or the House of Lords.
(5)    In this section—
  “the 1997 Act” means the Special Immigration Appeals Commission Act 1997 (c. 68);
  “the 2002 Act” means the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (c. 41);
  “the Immigration Acts” has the meaning given by section 158 of the 2002 Act;
  “immigration authority” means the Secretary of State, an immigration officer or a person responsible for the grant or refusal of entry clearance (within the meaning of section 33(1) of the Immigration Act 1971 (c. 77);
  “Pending” has the same meaning as in the 1997 Act or Part 5 of the 2002 Act; and
  “relevant person” means the individual who is alleged to have been the victim of the unlawful act complained of.

52     Transfer to county court or sheriff's court

(1)    This section applies to any reference made to the tribunal which—
(a)    is a complaint made under section 7 or an application made under section 61; and
(b)    concerns a matter outside the employment field.
(2)    The President or Regional Chairman of tribunals must consider whether in all the circumstances of the case it is appropriate to transfer the matter to the county court (or in Scotland the sheriff's court).
(3)    A determination under subsection (2) must be made no later than 28 days after receiving the respondent's notice of appearance.
(4)    A matter must be transferred in any case if it appears to the President or Regional Chairman that the case does (or may) involve matters of national security.
(5)    In determining whether the case is appropriate for onward reference under subsection (2), regard is to be had to any submissions made by the parties and to any other matter which appears relevant.
(6)    Matters which may be relevant include—
(a)    whether, in the interests of the parties, it would be convenient or fair to transfer the matter to a court having regard to the facts, legal issues, remedies and procedure;
(b)    the availability of a judge specialising in this sort of matter;
(c)    the facilities available at the tribunal and at the court (with a view to determining whether such facilities are adequate given the disabilities of a party or a potential witness);
(d)    the nature of any question of principle to which the matter may give rise.
(7)    Any reference made to a court by virtue of this section is to be determined—
(a)    in the case of a complaint under section 7, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 2 of this Part; or
(b)    in the case of an application under section 61, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3 of this Part.
 

 
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