Away from the Truss/Sunak ding-dong, another long-running drama has come to an end. Barrister Allison Bailey, a friend of JK Rowling, has today won her discrimination case against Garden Court Chambers. An employment tribunal unanimously found that Bailey, a barrister, lesbian, prominent gender critical campaigner and founding member of LGB Alliance, was discriminated against and victimised by her barristers’ chambers on the basis of her gender critical beliefs.
Over 30 witnesses were cross examined in a trial conducted entirely over video live-link that attracted hundreds of online observers and many thousands more followed the live tweeting of the case. The litigation was described by Bailey as being part ‘of a pushback by gender critical feminists against attempts to replace biological sex with notions of self-identified gender identity.’ Her claim centered on allegations that she was singled out for attack by Stonewall and her chambers because of public statements on the subjects of sex, gender and the charity’s method of campaigning.
The tribunal agreed on the central complaint which Bailey raised: that, as a consequence of being a gender critical feminist, she was discriminated against and victimised by her colleagues. However Bailey’s separate claim against Stonewall was not upheld, as the tribunal did not find that the charity had satisifed the legal test of ‘instructing, causing or influencing’ the discrimination which it found Bailey had suffered.
The tribunal did though accept that Bailey’s belief that ‘gender theory as proselytised by [Stonewall] is severely detrimental to women for numerous reasons’ and is a protected philosophical belief. She said:
Like many organisations that have mistakenly taken Stonewall’s proselytising as gospel, Garden Court has taken a wrong turn. But they can turn back. This judgment will help that to happen. I am disappointed not to have won my claim against Stonewall. But this should not obscure Stonewall’s role in creating the environment in which discrimination against gender critical women and lesbians has been allowed to flourish.
Stonewall’s comment is yet to be published…
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