Positive Discrimination Essay

1301 Words 6 Pages
Discrimination Presentation

Aim: What are the advantages and disadvantages of positive discrimination in relation to employment law?


<li value="1">    Introduction: definition of Positive discrimination
<li value="2">    Theories surrounding positive discrimination
<li value="3">    Legislation time-line

Sandra Fredman: the deliberate use of race or gender conscious criteria for the specific purpose of benefiting a group which has been previously been disadvantaged or excluded on grounds of race or gender.
Gweneth Pitt: Allowing preferential treatment of one group at the expense of another.

In some cases, this means
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Sandra Fredman has put these arguments very succinctly in her book on discrimination law. The first viewpoint looked at in the book is formal equality. This means that positive discrimination is unlawful because it differs from the formal concept of equality, which is a very symmetrical viewpoint & one mainly followed in the UK.

Fredman goes on to explain that there are 3 characteristics of formal equality which makes positive discrimination illegitimate.

<li value="1">    FE looks at equality as a universal concept that cannot vary to reflect different patterns in society, & therefore equality always being symmetrical gives equality evenly to everyone, regardless of whether they are or are not from a disadvantaged group.
<li value="2">    This formal equality is individualistic in form. i.e. there are no groups of sex or race, but only individuals who should be judged based on their merits alone, which then makes Positive discrimination contradictory as it looks at disadvantaged groups not individuals.
<li value="3">    FE entails equality b4 the law: state should b neutral as between its citizens, favouring no one above anyone else.

Second viewpoint: Substantive equality, where justice only meaningful in its interaction with society: blacks b4 whites; women b4 men. Makes point

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