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Caste Discrimination

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The Government has decided not to add 'caste' as a protected characteristic within the Equality Act 2010.

The main reason is difficulty drafting a precise legal definition of 'caste', which includes the difficulty in differentiating 'caste' from 'social class' (and hence introducing 'social class' as a protected characteristic). At first blush, this sounds a bit like a rationalisation to justify a predetermined decision. But reading the consultation response actually shows these are both very real problems.

Instead, the government will rely on emerging caselaw such as Chandhok v Tirkey in the expectation the courts can provide some measure of protection against discrimination on grounds of caste through the 'ethnic origin' route.