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Following on from our blog "PM announces new racism inquiry, what we know so far…" 19 June 2020, the Government has now released further details of its new commission.

The commission is to be chaired by Dr Tony Sewell, an International Education Consultant. It will be independent, and Dr Sewell’s nine fellow commissioners have been drawn from fields of science, education, broadcasting, economics, medicine, policing and community organisations. A full list of the commissioners can be found here. Terms of reference for the new commission have also been released, see here.

The purpose of the commission is stated as being to review inequality in the UK, focusing on areas such as poverty, education, employment, health, and the criminal justice system, and it will look at outcomes for the whole population. The commission will consider detailed quantitative data and qualitative evidence, commission new research and invite submissions where necessary. It has ten objectives:

  • build on the Race Disparity Audit to establish where there are the greatest evidenced-based, persistent disparities between ethnic groups

  • examine the cause of persistent disparities – considering racism and discrimination, as well as other factors including income, gender, age, geography and occupation

  • establish the extent to which there is geographical variation in outcomes for people of different ethnicities and how much difference local action can make

  • consider how greater integration and addressing segregation within communities, can contribute to addressing disadvantages faced by some groups

  • consider how the situation in the UK has changed over time and differences (or similarities) in outcomes for ethnic groups by generation

  • examine how the UK compares to other similar countries

  • review progress on taking forward previous Government action on ethnic disparities, including the implementation of past reviews

  • provide opportunities for interested parties to offer evidence including organisations, members of the public, and front-line workers in both the public and private sectors

  • review the effectiveness of existing measures and approaches to promote equality and diversity in public sector bodies

  • make recommendations for further action across Government, public bodies and the private sector.

It is hoped that the commission’s work will inform a national conversation about race, led by the evidence.

Finally, the commission will aim to report its findings in a timeframe of: “by the end of this year”.

If you require further information about anything covered in this blog, please contact Maria Strauss, or your usual contact at the firm on +44 (0)20 3375 7000.

This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

© Farrer & Co LLP, July 2020

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