On 17 and 18th March 2016, Dr Tarunabh Khaitan (OxHRH Research Associate and Oxford University) and Prof Hugh Collins (Oxford University) held an international conference at All Souls College and Wadham College on the theoretical foundations of the law of indirect discrimination.
The rationale and justification for indirect discrimination law has long been contested because it permits a finding of unlawful discrimination where an employer, educational institution, landlord, or retailer has used a neutral rule that does not on its face discriminate on any of the protected grounds such as sex, race, or ethnic origin. Indirect discrimination holds such a neutral rule to be unlawful if it has a disproportionate adverse impact on a protected ground and the rule itself cannot be justified as a proportionate means of pursuing a legitimate aim.
A diverse group of academics and practitioners from the US, Canada, Denmark, South Africa and Israel and the UK tackled the justifiability of this controversial law from a variety of perspectives such as the demands of equality, justice, wrongful conduct and moral luck.
It is expected that the conference papers will be published in a book by Hart Publishing in 2017. The conference organisers gratefully acknowledge material and financial support for the conference provided mostly by Wadham College, together with All Souls College, the Faculty of Law, and the University of Oxford.