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Territorial Jurisdiction: Equality Act

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 Thanks to James Medhurst of Hill Hofstetter for preparing this case summary

Is the territorial jurisdiction of the Equality Act 2010 the same as the territorial jurisdiction for unfair dismissal?

Yes, held the Court of Appeal in Hottak v FCO.

The Claimants were Afghan nationals employed at a British compound in Afghanistan. They sought judicial review of their employee benefits on the grounds that they were less generous than those given to Iraqi nationals similarly employed in Iraq, which they said amounted to race discrimination.

The Court of Appeal applied the Lawson v Serco line of authorities, which is used for claims of unfair dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. It noted that the Claimants were Afghan nationals who lived in Afghanistan, were recruited in Afghanistan, worked exclusively in Afghanistan, and had contracts which were subject to Afghan law. Therefore, none of the exceptions in Lawson were held to apply and there was no jurisdiction to hear their claims of discrimination under the Equality Act.