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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10226
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Would it be discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 if

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Would it be discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 if the Government were to close driving test centres in England because they didn't have ready access to the likes of 70MPH dual carriageways, traffic light controlled junctions and crossroads but didn't also close similarly affected driving test centres in Scotland? In my opinion this would be racial discrimination.

Hello for clarification what makes you think its racial discrimination?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Because they are treating the Scots/Scotland differently and preferentially for no justifiable reason.

It is necessary to look at the cause and effect. In this case, whilst it isn't direct discrimination because they are not deliberately targeting English or Scottish, it could be in direct discrimination if the effect is that it discriminated against one nationality rather than another

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The issue here is that it is foreseen from comments made in front of witnesses back in 2010 by the MP for the test centre in Wiltshire and subsequently, maybe including but not limited to the rise of the Conservative party in Scotland and concerns regarding potential Scottish independence and associated with Brexit, that the Government wants to keep the Scots happy. If they closed a, or even a few, driving test centre(s) in England solely because it didn't have access to a decent length of 70MPH dual carriageway and/or busy right turn light controlled junctions (although it had ready access to some) but kept driving test centres open in, for example, Fort William (other similar, if not less suitable, Scottish driving test centres are available) where there are absolutely no 70MPH dual carriageway or, as far as I can see on Google Maps, busy right turn light controlled junctions would this not be discrimination since this would not only be targeting the English but also giving favourable treatment to, if not positively discriminating in favour of, Scotland in addition to the effect being that this course of action discriminated against one nationality rather than another?

I can see exactly where you’re coming from and I cannot disagree with you but this is more of a political debate than a legal question. What are you trying to achieve and how you want to go about it?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I'm wanting to establish whether the course of action detailed above would, or could well, be discrimination in terms of the Equality Act 2010?

There is no definitive answer to that and it would be for a judge to decide. There is very often not a definitive answer to many legal questions as if there was, nothing would ever go to court. I can give you one opinion and another more you may give another opinion. Litigation needs at least 2 parties and neither goes to court expecting to lose but nonetheless, one of them does even though they’ve been told by their respective legal advisers that they have a good chance of success.

I think that if you were to take this to court, they would find it wasn’t discrimination on the grounds of “public interest” and “fear of opening the floodgates” which are two well used legal doctrines particularly in respect of claims against the government.

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Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** help.

I am glad to help.