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Case Study: Stephen Lawrence Inquiry

Case Study: Stephen Lawrence InquiryThe inquiry into the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence and the police handling of the case was a huge driving force for the improvement of race relations and cultural diversity. The Macpherson report, which was published soon after his death, highlighted the “institutional racism” that existed within the police force and other UK institutions.

Lawrence was murdered at a bus stop in South London in April 1999 in a racially aggravated attack. The 18-year-old was stabbed twice by a group of five white boys before dying at the scene. Although the inquiry brought prime suspects to the stand, no one was convicted of his murder.

The report and the media scrutiny that followed, forced the government to act and the Race Relations Act was created in 2000. This was a promotion of the Equal Opportunities Act which already existed.

The Stephen Lawrence inquiry emphasised the lack of effective training in racism awareness. The Macpherson report has meant that the public sector is beginning to understand the need for training in this area as well as raising awareness regarding racial discrimination.

Due to the Race Relations Act, a code of practice (Race Equality Scheme) was introduced, which states how authorities should carry out their duties including the training of staff.

To find out more visit: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/ria_code_racial_equality_em1.pdf?view=Binary.

This code of practice is a set of guidelines specifically for employers, which illustrates the importance of equal opportunities and how to deal with racism, prevention, and training. It would be beneficial to briefly read through this before you start your Diversity Training.

The guidelines follow four main points which could be discussed in your Diversity Training. These include:


1) To provide guidance on how to prevent unlawful racial discrimination and promote equal opportunity in the workplace.
2) To provide employers the understanding of their responsibilities and their rights.
3) To help lawyers advise their clients.
4) To make sure anyone contemplating bringing legal proceedings under the RRA, or attempting to negotiate within the workplace, has a clear understanding of both legislation and good practice in the field of employment.
(Taken from the Home Office documents: REGULATORY IMPACT ASSESSMENT (RIA) OF THE STATUTORY CODE OF PRACTICE ON RACIAL EQUALITY IN EMPLOYMENT)

Related links:
http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm42/4262/4262.htm
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/ukpga_20000034_en_1#pb1-l1g1
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/ria_code_racial_equality_em1.pdf?view=Binary 

27/05/09

 

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