Thursday, March 19, 2009

Judge Rules in Favour of Green Kook in UK Court

I had to read this report in the Independent twice to fully understand it. A man sued a company that made him redundant, on the grounds that they punished him for his environmental beliefs. And they didn't laugh him out of court:

An executive sacked from a giant property company can claim he was unfairly dismissed because of his "philosophical belief in climate change", a judge ruled yesterday.

In the first case of its kind, employment judge David Sneath said Tim Nicholson, a former environmental policy officer, could invoke employment law for protection from discrimination against him for his conviction that climate change was the world's most important environmental problem.

That conviction amounted to a philosophical belief under the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations, 2003, the judge ruled on a point of law at a pre-hearing review of an employment tribunal in London.


Grainger had sought to have Mr Nicholson's attempt to use the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations struck out. Counsel for the company, Harry Trory, contended at length that Mr Nicholson's views on climate change and the environment were based on fact and science, and did not constitute a philosophical belief. But the judge found in favour of Mr Nicholson. "In my judgment, his belief goes beyond a mere opinion, he said,

Mr Nicholson told the hearing that his green beliefs affected how he lived his life, "including my choice of home, how I travel, what I buy, what I eat and drink, what I do with my waste and my hopes and my fears".

So, if I understand this correctly, the judge ruled that his environmental beliefs were a form of religion, and therefore he was discriminated against for his beliefs? Note the company argued that his beliefs were based on science, but the judge over-ruled that assertion.

What an absurd precedent! It sounds like a make work project for the employment judge. Either that or he's been smoking crack.

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