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Accueil > Royaume-Uni > Droit et religion > Dispositions > Autres dispositions > Protection contre la discrimination religieuse et le harcèlement (...)

Protection contre la discrimination religieuse et le harcèlement religieux

The Equality Act of 2010 consolidates and replaces all previous anti-discrimination laws with a single act in order to remove any inconsistencies. “Religion or belief” is included as one of nine “protected characteristics”, which it is illegal to discriminate against. The other protected characteristics are “age”, “disability”, “gender reassignment”, “marriage and civil partnership, “pregnancy and maternity”, “race”, “sex” and “sexual orientation”. The act prohibits unfair treatment in the workplace, when providing goods, facilities and services, when exercising public functions, in the disposal and management of premises, in education and by associations. The provisions of the act are being brought into force at different times (known as commencement dates). This is to ensure people and organisations affected by the new laws have plenty of time to prepare.Most of the provisions came into force in October 2010. Further provisions came into force in April 2011. ] of 2010 consolidates and replaces all previous anti-discrimination laws with a single act in order to remove any inconsistencies. “Religion or belief” is included as one of nine “protected characteristics”, which it is illegal to discriminate against.

The other protected characteristics are “age”, “disability”, “gender reassignment”, “marriage and civil partnership, “pregnancy and maternity”, “race”, “sex” and “sexual orientation”. The act prohibits unfair treatment in the workplace, when providing goods, facilities and services, when exercising public functions, in the disposal and management of premises, in education and by associations.

The provisions of the act are being brought into force at different times (known as commencement dates). This is to ensure people and organisations affected by the new laws have plenty of time to prepare.Most of the provisions came into force in October 2010. Further provisions came into force in April 2011.

The legislation which this act replaces includes the Race Relations Act 1976, which prohibited unfavourable treatment of individuals on grounds of race in the fields of employment, education, training, housing, and the provision of goods, facilities and services. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 prohibited racial discrimination in all public functions, with only a few limited exceptions. Public bodies are also given a statutory general duty to promote racial equality.

In a key decision by the House of Lords in 1983, Lord Fraser listed a number of defining characteristics of an ethnic group : a shared history, a cultural tradition, a common geographical origin, a common language, literature and religion, and being a minority or group within a larger community. Jews qualified as an ethnic group, as did Sikhs. Later cases brought by Muslims and Rastafarians failed the Fraser test, however, and hence the Race Relations Act has offered only partial protection to religious (as opposed to racial) minorities.

The Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 introduced nine new religiously-aggravated offences, expanding on the existing racially-aggravated offences introduced in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. These new offences, which include assault, criminal damage and harassment, make available to the courts higher maximum penalties where there is evidence of religious hostility surrounding the offence. This means that purely religious groups, such as Muslims and Christians, are now offered the same protection against attacks as was available previously to racial groups (which the courts have ruled to include Jews and Sikhs).

The Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 makes it an offence use threatening language with the intention to stir up religious hatred. The government had previously tried and failed to pass this legislation, and it was obliged to accept amendments that weakened the wording originally proposed. (See the archives of debates heading.)

11 septembre 2012