Disabled Juror Forced To Quit Case At Maidstone Crown Court Because All Lifts Were Broken


So, here we are again, yes, the inequality with regards to disability which is abound within the UK.

It is now over 10 years since the Equality Act 2010, so why is inequality so rife in the UK?

But, firstly what is disability here is the guidance.

The disability definition from the Equality Act 2010

Section A: The Definition
Main elements of the definition of disability
A1. The Act defines a disabled person as a person with a disability. A
person has a disability for the purposes of the Act if he or she has a
physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial
and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal
day-to-day activities (S6(1)).
A2. This means that, in general:
• the person must have an impairment that is either physical or
mental (see paragraphs A3 to A8);
• the impairment must have adverse effects which are substantial
(see Section B);
• the substantial adverse effects must be long-term (see Section C);
and
• the long-term substantial adverse effects must be effects on
normal day-to-day activities (see Section D).
This definition is subject to the provisions in Schedule 1 (Sch1).
All of the factors above must be considered when determining whether a
person is disabled.

This guidance then goes on to define the severity of disability and other factors.

Then it goes further and defines the ‘Reasonable Adjustments that need to be considered.

Who has to comply and who may not to a degree,

However, in this instance Maidstone Crown Court had complied with the Equality Act 2010, but do so circumstances, maybe outside their control, came into effect making all 5 lifts to be unworkable at the particular point in time.

Could it be argued at reasonable steps to repair some of the lifts were not taken, yes, it could, but that, in this instance would not make it possible for the juror to be able to perform their duty as a juror within the court.

Could other reasonable adjustments have been made, well, yes a video link could have been installed, but was there time for this or had it not been thought of.

Perhaps, in this day of more media being available, such adjustments should be made as a matter of course, to prevent this unexpected breakdown of lists, or would it be viewed as an expense too far for something which may never occur again.

For ‘reasonable’ covers a major area and reasonable is not always sufficiently defined, if ever, and costs would be a factor in deciding reasonability.

This is something for Courts to decide, maybe, even, Maidstone Crown Court!

Same Difference

A disabled juror was forced to quit her duty because all five lifts in a Kent court were broken.

The woman was discharged from a robbery trial after spending a fortnight listening to the case because she could not get back in.

It left just 10 out of 12 jurors because another was discharged earlier.

The case finished the next day with unanimous guilty verdicts against two men at Maidstone Crown Court, the MirrorOnline reports.

Alison Kerry, of disability equality charity Scope, said: “Disabled people shouldn’t be barred from doing their civic duty because our courtrooms aren’t accessible.

“One in five of us is disabled and juries should reflect that.

“It’s unacceptable five lifts could be out of order at once.

“This could also prevent disabled clerks and solicitors from being able to work.

Courts and the government should do much more to make sure our justice system is…

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