Whistleblowers: Oxford faces third hearing of race case

December 6, 2002

Oxford University may have to face allegations of race discrimination from black researcher Chinese Anya for a third time after the employment tribunal granted him leave to appeal against the latest decision to dismiss his allegations.

Dr Anya, a prizewinning scientist who now works on the shop floor of a fruit-juice factory, has been granted leave to appeal against a decision to dismiss his claims of racism against Oxford by the Reading tribunal in December last year. The 2001 tribunal was the second court to hear and dismiss his allegations, because the original decision of a tribunal in 1998 was subsequently condemned as "lacking" by the court of appeal.

Now Dr Anya hopes to show that this second judgment was also lacking, and has been granted another full hearing of his appeal case next year.

Dr Anya joined Oxford in a two-year postdoctoral research post in the department of materials in 1994. He claims he was the victim of discrimination when he was rejected in favour of a white candidate for a new research post in 1996.

Both tribunals found that Oxford breached its equal opportunities policies when it rejected Dr Anya, without having taken up references or establishing a panel to shortlist candidates.

The 2001 tribunal found that while the breaches of equal opportunities procedures were "regrettable", the procedural problems did not materially affect Dr Anya. There was no evidence of discrimination, it found.

A spokesperson for Oxford said: "The university is committed to promoting equality of opportunity, and regularly reviews its policies and procedures. The decision in January 2002 concluded unanimously that the University of Oxford acted fairly and lawfully in its dealings with Dr Anya. The university will challenge this latest appeal."

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