Gender Critical Beliefs

March 4th, 2024

Elizabeth acted for Dr Shahrar Ali in his philosophical belief claims against The Green Party where he asserted that he had been removed as a Party spokesperson as a result of his gender critical beliefs.  These are beliefs that sex is real and immutable, protected as a belief following the case of Forstater v CDG.  Dr Ali brought claims for direct discrimination and victimisation under the Equality Act 2010 (sections 13 and 27) following a complex chronology of conduct that saw his role within the Party diminished.  Dr Ali was extremely vocal about his views but considered they had been manifested reasonably and with the support of others.

Dr Ali engaged in long and protracted litigation resulting in a five-day trial in Central London County Court in August 2023.  Judgment was handed down on 19 February 2024. Dr Ali was successful in his claim that he had been unfairly removed as a Party spokesperson with HHJ Hellman finding the removal was procedurally unfair given that there were no associated code breaches that could have led to his dismissal.  HHJ Hellman further held that he could not rule out the possibility that the unfairness that Dr Ali experienced had been connected to his gender critical beliefs.  Dr Ali was awarded £9,100 in damages. 

This was the first case of its kind against a political party and has paved the way for more.  The case was widely reported in the press and has shone a spotlight on how political parties deal with members who hold gender critical beliefs.  There has been a raft of suspensions and expulsions across the political spectrum of members who hold these beliefs.  This case is a reminder that such beliefs are protected and political parties are bound by the framework and legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010.