College loses appeal against racism

July 7, 1995

Kingsway College, a further education college in central London, has lost its appeal against a tribunal decision last November that it discriminated against a lecturer on the grounds of his race and also victimised him.

But in an unusual decision, a preliminary hearing of the employment appeal tribunal has allowed the three individuals named in the November judgment to proceed with their appeal, solely on the question of the extent of their individual liability for the acts of unlawful discrimination and victimisation.

The appeal tribunal advised all three to get separate legal representation - to date the college and the three members of staff concerned have shared a common solicitor.

It also ordered that the question of compensation should now be restored to the industrial tribunal, unless agreement can be reached on the amount.

Fahrad Shahrokni, a maths and computer lecturer, who worked for the college for more than ten years, took the college to court when he was refused part-time work.

His complaint that the college, and a number of individuals including Patricia Haikin, the principal, and two senior members of staff, discriminated against him and victimised him on the grounds of race, was upheld.

In an article in the Kingsway Bulletin of June 16, Mrs Haikin writes: "The function of the employment appeal tribunal is not to decide appeals on the basis of its own assessment of the facts, but is limited to correcting errors in the interpretation and application of the law."

She said that on this basis the college's appeal had not been allowed to proceed, but that the individual members of staff "have an arguable point of law upon which to base an appeal".

Mr Shahrokni, who was represented by Hackney Law Centre, said that he hoped that the matter of compensation could be resolved.

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