LA News Release, "New Race Relations Law Misconceived and Potentially Damaging" (October 2002)
NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International
London, Wednesday, 30 October 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact Details: David Carr, 07951 777307 firstname.lastname@example.org
"New Race Relations Law Misconceived and Potentially Damaging", Says Free Market and Civil Liberties Think Tank
The proposal by the Home Office, to extend the terms of the Race Relations Act to cover employment in and around the home, is both misconceived and potentially damaging.
Speaking Today in London, David Carr, a practising lawyer and Libertarian Alliance Executive Committee Member, said:
"The government's decision to force the equal opportunities laws on householders seeking to employ nannies, cleaners or gardeners cuts a swathe through the meritorious distinction between the private and the public and places upon those householders an added dimension of risk in a process that is already fraught with potential pitfalls and dangers.
"This alone would be bad enough but the effects will be exarcerbated by the proposal that, in the event of a claim of discrimination being made, the Common Law tradition of the burden of proof being on the Claimant, be reversed.
"This means, that once the Claimant has made a prima facie case, it will up to the Defendant to prove that he or she was not racist. It is always decidedly difficult to prove a negative and any putative employers so accused face the prospect of a ruinous law-suit which they stand very little chance of being able to successfully defend.
"Not to mention that blanket powers to accuse without the burden of consequence are a gilt-edged opportunity for charlatans and rogues to make malicious claims (or threaten the same) with a view to obtaining money or other favours by dint of their menace.
"Presumably, the motive behind this proposal is to promote better race relations in this country. For sure, a laudable goal but one that will not be achieved by this measure which will, in fact, tend to have the very contrary effect. It means that home employers are being invited to view Black or Asian people not just as fellow human beings but as harbingers of potential bankruptcy.
"The pursuit of racial harmony should not be an excuse for the government to so imperil otherwise law-abiding citizens nor traduce long-established Common Law safeguards from which we all benefit regardless of our racial background."