Correcting misinformation about manifestation

Correcting misinformation about manifestation

One of the enduring pieces of misinformation about my case is that the Equality Act only protects against belief discrimination on the basis that you keep your belief in your head and not if you “manifest” it in any way. 

This is utterly silly.  The right to manifest a religion or belief is qualified, which means it can be limited in some situations, such as to protect public safety and the rights and freedoms of others. This is not the same as saying manifestation of belief is not protected. 

One of the publications that has spread this misinformation is a “A practical guide to Transgender Law” by barristers Robin Moira White and Nicola Newbegin of Old Square Chambers. 

When the book was published White and Newbegin promised to provide regular updates to keep up to date with the “fast moving and controversial area of the law”. The last update, published in 2021 after my EAT judgment said:

It has been pointed out that this was wrong several times, but the co-author was dismissive and rude, and no further update ever came.

Meanwhile there have been a series of cases, including my employment tribunal as well as Allison Bailey, Denise Fahmy and Rachel Meade, and the EAT judgment in the case of Higgs v Farmor’s school which all made clear that this is nonsense.

In the week in which Jo Phoenix’s employment tribunal win against the Open University was announced, I wrote to Tim Kevan and Garry Wright of Law Brief Publishing and asked them about the lack of promised updates and whether they were not embarrassed at publishing this bit of obvious legal nonsense. 

On Tuesday January 23rd they published a statement on their website saying there would be no more updates of the book and a new edition was planned.

The following day the pdf version of the most recent update was removed and replaced with an html version with the erroneous statement about manifestation of belief quietly removed.

The day after that a vague acknowledgement of the correction was added “Note that this Update was amended on 24th January 2024 in the Chapter 18 section with a change to the paragraph beginning ‘However…’ and ending ‘...judgment:’.”

By the end of the week the whole thing had disappeared

I guess they were embarrassed.