Section 199 of the Equality Act 2010: How Not to Abolish the Presumption of Advancement


  • Jamie Glister

    1. The University of Sydney
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    • aFaculty of Law, The University of Sydney. I would like to thank John Mee, James Penner, Cameron Stewart, Sarah Williams and the referee for their helpful comments. Of course, I remain responsible for any errors.


Section 199 of the Equality Act 2010 seeks to abolish the equitable presumption of advancement. The existence of that presumption, which discriminates according to gender because it applies in relation to husbands and fathers but not wives and mothers, is thought to prevent the United Kingdom from acceding to Protocol 7 to the European Convention on Human Rights. This paper argues that the presumption of advancement would not breach the protocol. It further argues that, even on the assumption that abolition was necessary before accession could occur, the legislation will not have the intended effect. The paper concludes that section 199 should be brought into force only in part.