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The Court of Appeal's decision in Redfearn v Serco Ltd [2006] ICR 1367 raises difficult questions regarding the extent to which members of an organisation such as the British National Party (‘BNP’) should be able to rely on the protection of the Race Relations Act 1976, where they have been dismissed or subjected to other detriment as a result of their BNP membership. Such a dismissal or detriment could be said to be for a ‘race-related’ reason in a very broad sense, although there are powerful policy arguments as to why members of an organisation like the BNP ought not to benefit from the protection of the Race Relations Act 1976 in that capacity. This article considers the development of the doctrine of ‘transferred discrimination’, and seeks to understand how and why the doctrine has become so wide that the arguments made on Redfearn's behalf in the Serco case could be contemplated at all. It is also intended to offer a view as to the proper parameters of the doctrine of ‘transferred discrimination’ as a matter of both English and European law ahead of the ECJ's forthcoming judgment in Coleman v Attridge Law (Case C-303/06).

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Until 2007 the King's Law Journal was known as the King's College Law Journal. It was established in 1990 as a legal periodical publishing scholarly and authoritative Articles, Notes and Reports on legal issues of current importance to both academic research and legal practice. It has a national and international readership, and publishes refereed contributions from authors across the United Kingdom, from continental Europe and further afield (particularly Commonwealth countries and USA). The journal includes a Reviews section containing critical notices of recently published books.
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