These pages do not apply outside the United Kingdom.
The Equality Act 2010 applies to 'Great Britain', namely England, Wales and Scotland. The Act does not apply to Northern Ireland, so most of this website does not apply to Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland (separate page)
The European Convention in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Isle of Man
Great Britain = England, Wales and Scotland. This is where the Equality Act 2010 applies.
The sources I use for this website relate principally to England, so the website focuses on England.
However, since Equality Act 2010 also applies to Scotland and Wales, this website will largely also be applicable to Scotland and Wales. There are also some specific points below on Scotland and Wales.
Equality Act 2010 does not apply to Northern Ireland (apart from minor exceptions). Northern Ireland is part of the 'United Kingdom' but not Great Britain.
The main anti-discrimination law in Northern Ireland is the old Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), which used to apply also to the rest of the UK. However, since this area is devolved, the DDA has been substantially amended by the Northern Ireland legislature. Generally anti-discrimination law in Northern Ireland lags behind the rest of the UK. See my separate page on Northern Ireland.
The Isle of Man and Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom and this website does not aim to cover them.
Scotland has its own legal traditions, its own body of common law and statute law, its own system of courts, and its own legal profession. Scotland also now has its own Scottish Parliament (external link), and power in certain fields has been transferred to this.
Even so, the Equality Act 2010 (before October 2010 the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) does apply in Scotland. It is subject to minor adaptations. For example, litigation on the goods and services provisions is heard by the sheriff court in Scotland.
In general, equal opportunities issues in Scotland are matters reserved to the Westminster Parliament in London (Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act). So in general changes to the Equality Act/DDA in Scotland are a matter for the Westminster Parliament. However, the Scottish Parliament does have certain powers with regard to equal opportunities. These include the encouragement (other than by prohibition or regulation) of equal opportunities, and in particular encouraging the observance of equal opportunities legislation such as the Equality Act (Schedule 5). For the 'specific duties' under the single Public Sector Equality Duty taking effect in April 2011, there will be separate regulations for Scotland (excluding non-devolved bodies).
The Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee (external link) conducted a Disability Inquiry in which the British Stammering Association (Scotland) participated. You can read about evidence given orally by people who stammer and download the BSA's written submission at Equal Opportunities - Visit to Scottish Parliament (BSA website). The committee reported in 2006.
On special educational needs, the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 & 2009 applies - see www.ltscotland.org.uk
There is more on disability equality in Scotland on the Scottish Executive website at www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/Equality/disability/
There may well be differences in areas other than the Equality Act.
The National Assembly of Wales (external link) was established by the Government of Wales Act 1998. It does not pass primary legislation. In the areas where it is active, it only has functions which in England Ministers would exercise, in particular making regulations under Acts of Parliament passed at Westminster.
The Equality Act 2010 (before October 2010, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) applies in Wales as it does in England. Functions in respect of it are not transferred to the Assembly. However, for the 'specific duties' under the single Public Sector Equality Duty taking effect in April 2011, there are separate regulations for Wales (excluding non-devolved bodies).
There are provisions in the Government of Wales Act on the need for the Assembly to have regard to equality of opportunity (sections 48 and 120). There is an Equality of Opportunity Committee (external link) established by the National Assembly for Wales.
From May 2012 ministers in Wales have a particular obligation under Welsh law to have due regard to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which includes provisions on disability.
See Northern Ireland page.
Broadly, the Human Rights Act 1998 also applies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Also the legislation establishing the relevant assemblies actually says that they have no power to enact legislation with contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights. So the European Convention, including its provisions which impact disability discrimination, provides a constitutional limit on the competence of the devolved bodies.
The detailed rules are complex, and different for each region. However, issues as to whether legislation by an assembly complies with the Convention will generally be a "devolution issue". Special procedures are laid down to deal with this in the courts. The ultimate court in the United Kingdom which can hear appeals in this area is generally (but not always) the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. That jurisdiction will shift to the UK Supreme Court when it opens for business. Unlike with Acts of the Westminster Parliament, the courts actually have power to strike down legislation of the regional assemblies.
Where one of the devolved bodies in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland acts contrary to the Convention, it may be unclear whether action can be taken under the normal Human Rights Act provisions or whether it should instead be dealt with under the procedure for "devolved issues".
The Isle of Man is not part of the United Kingdom, and this website does not cover it.
However, in 2016 an Equality Bill began its passage through the Tynwald. The Bill is very similar to Britain's Equality Act 2010, and so should include stammering to a very large extent if it is interpreted in the same way. Like the Equality Act 2010, the Bill includes employment, education and provision of goods and services.
The European Convention of Human Rights (with the Island's Human Rights Act 2001) could apply in some fields.
The Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom and this website does not cover them. The main islands are
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© Allan Tyrer 2001-2016
Last updated 14th March, 2009 (part updates to for Scotland/Wales 21st 7th November, 2011, and for Isle of Man 4th May 2016)