August 24, 2007 - PART 2

My discrimination case is one of disability, not race (though in a perfect world, there shouldn't be a any functional difference between the two). So why did I not take the case to the County Court under the DDA 1995? Well, for a large part of the time I was a research student at Keele University and demonstrably being discriminated against, educational establishments were exempt from the DDA.

This disgraceful loophole was initially allowed because the politicians drawing up this legislation determined that educational establishments already had the means to resolve disability discrimination issues. It soon became apparent, however, that this was a naive assumption, and a potentially fatal flaw to the legislation that was not amended until, I think, 2001, and even then not fully implemented until 2002.

The discrimination against me persisted after the law was amended but other problems made pursuing this legal route very difficult. The DDA has a time limit of six months. The University in one of its investigations took over twelve months to just look at the case - this is a common trick by Universities, to delay matters long enough for any legal response to be out of time. The University act 'intra vires', and so any legal challenge against them will often be rejected because 'all internal remedies' have not been exhausted. As I mentioned, my application to the European Court was rejected for a similar reason. The University has taken YEARS in which to fail to investigate my case, and I am effectively still in the student complaint process, and have been since 2000, therefore ineligible for legal action with regard to the case until this process is resolved (probably posthumously).

This is why the present and on-going discrimination case is so important. I am still effectively in a student complaint process (by definition, since the Adjudicator and the Visitor are involvevd). I knew that the process that the University was implemenmting was corrupt on a number of counts, but when they virtually ran headlong into a disability discrimination case it gave me the first opportunity to get elements of my case in front of a truly impartial and publicly monitored judge.

It may form the tiny key to open a very large can of worms, which is why the University are defending the case so ferociously.

Andy Terry -

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just imagine the pain of trying to describe how you have been bullied...

... knowing that they will take your words and twist them round for their own purposes

...almost unbearable

Aphra Behn