Plans for a People’s Tribunal in London later this year to hear the case for implementing the UN Convention to eliminate all discrimination against women (CEDAW) have received a huge boost after one of London’s leading international law firms have offered to work for them free of charge.
Garden Court Chambers, which has 197 barristers and 27 QC’s, and specialises in human rights cases has offered the services of six of its leading women barristers and QC’s to head up the People’s Tribunal which aims to draw up an ” oven ready ” Bill of Rights for Women which could be put into British law. All are working pro bono.
Smita Bajaria, a solicitor, is also working pro bono and will be instructing the barristers for the CEDAW tribunal.
The decision by Garden Court Chambers, to offer such a huge amount of pro bono work to the inquisitional tribunal is thought to be unprecedented in legal circles. All will be working on the preparation and presentation of the legal arguments and examine over 20 witnesses across the three day tribunal hearing.
The six QCs and barristers are:
Sonali Naik QC
Sonali has an extensive judicial review practice in challenges to Home Office policy, trafficking and unlawful detention and has won a number of high profile cases including a landmark case which found that Priti Patel, the home secretary, had acted illegally in demanding the “instant removal” of migrants without having access to lawyers.
Amanda Weston QC
A leading expert on public and administrative law and judicial reviews and on the preferred counsel list for taking up cases for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
An expert on gender and race discrimination. Won a landmark case against the Home Office in the Supreme Court for the Public and Commercial Services Union and Prospect union over the discrimination against black and older applicants in promotion tests , winning a settlement of over £1m.
She is an equality and human rights lawyer with a particular expertise in cases involving child, refugee and migrant rights, sex, gender, LGBTI+, trafficking and detention. Advises the Council of Europe.
A specialist public law practice in the areas of community care (Adult and Children Act cases), human trafficking, migrant welfare, housing, and immigration and asylum law.
She commenced practice in 1995 inspired by the desire to promote the rights of the under privileged and disadvantaged and quickly established herself as a well-respected and busy human rights and immigration barrister. She is on the preferred list of Lawyers for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
A statement from the CEDAW People’s tribunal said : “Every woman and girl born in the UK should be able to realise, as of right, her true potential.
“There is no reason why CEDAW cannot be transposed into domestic law and the delay in doing so is nothing short of unconscionable.
• A published Report out of the tribunal hearing signed-off by the Independent Panel of Judges
• Instructions for a Women’s Bill of Rights
• A film of the journey
• Roadshow e-Drop-Ins
The CEDAW Peoples Tribunal will leave a lasting legacy by providing a body of evidence for individuals, women’s campaign groups and politicians to hold governments to account.
This will lead to changes in laws and the creation of new laws to bring about a Women’s Bill of Rights and substantive, transformative equality for all women and girls.”
The tribunal website is here.
Absolute support for cedaw. Absolute neccesity or women rights. Unbelievable that we have had to wait so long for this to be in law. Hoping for their success and for the eventual reimbursement of 50s born women who were cruely robbed of up to 6 years earned pension. Up to £50k each. Good luck.
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This is fantastic news. Will they look at the 1950s women that had their pension stolen.
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Great news, will they look at the fact that I have paid £3200 to buy back national insurance contributions, when men got these free. This is blatant discrimination.
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It’s been a long time coming, THANK YOU CEDAW, (thanks to perseverance) but it’s a disgrace that we have to jump through hoops ( Bureaucratic cock up) for our hard earned money better known as our OLD AGED PENSION that was stolen from us, I say this because the establishment at no point asked any of us , who would be affected by the mindless move of the goal posts (not once but twice) thus forcing myself and others to work for an EXTRA 6yrs.
Democracy at its best 🤬
I am a 1950s born woman. There is one month’s difference in age between my husband and I. We therefore grew up in the same era experiencing education/work opportunities afforded to males/females during that period of time. His state pension has been increased by ONE year, mine by SIX years. This is not equality as I understand the word to mean. The government targeted us cohort of women because they thought we would just accept the discrimination. Alas, we have shouted loud and clear but to no avail!
We should never stop until this abomination has been resolved.
Absolutely the best news ever. Maybe this was the only way CEDAW was ever going to be put into UK Law. Throw huge amounts of legal expertise at it and the fact that this expertise is being given free is nothing short of astounding. This sends a huge message to those in this terrible Government that CEDAW cannot be delayed any longer. Many thanks to all of the ladies who will be doing this work. I sincerely hope that there is now a glimmer of hope for the 50’s women, of which I am one.
Thanks David for reporting this great news.
Thank you CEDAW and Garden Court Chambers for taking on the challenge for women in the UK. 1950’s born women, in particular, have not had the benefit of equality throughout their working lives and this is evident in their pension pots at the end of their working lives. There was no access to private pension contribution schemes for most 50’s women and no subsidized childcare to enable them to work. Those on low incomes are affected the most. They are real people who now suffering due to the incompetence regarding policy implementation by successive UK governments.
This is all very lovely, but honestly, how will any of this be implemented in practice? We have no end of laws for violence against women, discrimination in the workplace, etc. Few of those laws are implemented when they need be. Rape and DV seldom make it to court, when they do you are at the mercy of a misogyny and victim-blaming jury and judge. In workplaces employers flout employment law and shut down women raising issue on gender discrimination and sexual harassment/assault. Universities are rife with discrimination against female students The police are rife with misogyny and victims seldom believed. It is difficult to feel positive about any new moves like this as it seems to just add another layer of obfuscation to the prevailing problems and seem like a career platform for those behind the campaign.
Presumably your solution is to do nothing about it.
Well maybe you could help women fight gender ideology which is trying to erase sex-based rights. The rights women need. I get the impression this is yet another tool to impose gender ideology on us. We shall see. I certainly do not trust your chambers.
Sorry I am sceptical. I stand with Allison Bailey. You have yet to prove you even know what makes a woman. You cannot protect what you cannot define. And you cannot fight sexism if you deny sex.
I have emphasema now worked since 15 47 years a disgracex
At least it gives the 1950s women a little bit of hope so we can resolve the pension injustice done to us x
Thank you for the information, David and thank you to those ‘legal eagles’ who are prepared to take this matter up for free. Given our current laws which allow discrimination (even to the point of stealing women’s pensions) any help to get CEDAW and such legislation enshrined in law should only help.
Do you know if they have published the definition of woman/girl they intend to use – whether they’ll use a sex-based definition or a gender identity one ( with or without a GRC) ?
It is a inquisitorial tribunal and witnesses will be cross examined and it will be up to the judges to define this.
Can we have a statement of which definition of “woman” will be used? Is it “adult human female” or anyone who chooses to “identify” as a woman?
This is concerning given their treatment of Alison Bailey and their involvement with Stonewall surely.
In fact this looks deeply suspect.
I have read that the CPT include men who claim to be “trans” and/or women in their definition of woman and therefore invalidate the very foundation of CEDAW.
Men cannot be women.
This sounds like another ploy of the Gender Identity lobby and the big money interests behind it.
where have you heard that the CPT has men who claim to be women? I think you should justify such a claim.
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I feel as a woman born in 1952 I am being discrimated against Men of exactly the same age
This whole change of Pensions was supposed to be bringing equality to both Sexes ..This has not been done ..Men born in 1952 have been placed on the New Higher Rate and Women born in 1952 have been placed on the Old Lower Rate which has approx a £40 a week difference in payment and this is for Lifetime ..I hope you can give me assurance this can be looked at
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