Oxford Union accepts findings of Equality and Access Review conducted by Doughty Street counsel

The Oxford Union Society has published the Executive Summary of an Equality and Access Review recently carried out by Henrietta Hill QC, David Stephenson and Donnchadh Greene.

The Oxford Union Society commissioned an in-depth examination of its rules, policies and practices and compliance with its Equality Act 2010 obligations. The Review was commissioned following a settlement reached between the Union and Mr Ebenezer Azamati, a Ghanian postgraduate student who is blind, who had brought a civil claim for his treatment in attempting to attend the annual No Confidence debate.

The Review made 81 recommendations to the Union. It highlighted key areas of concern such as:

  • the lack of an equality and access policy and any means of ensuring the President and the leadership of the Union adhered to key equality obligations and responsibilities towards members, staff and visitors;

  • the culture of unwillingness and inability to complain about discrimination being coupled with the weaponisation of complaints during hyper-politicised elections; and

  • the lack of access and dignified treatment for those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds and other marginalised and underrepresented groups.

The Union accepted 77 recommendations in full and accepted the remaining 4 in “some form”.

A copy of the Executive Summary is available here.

Henrietta Hill QC, David Stephenson and Donnchadh Greene were instructed by Preiskel & Co LLP on behalf of the Oxford Union Society to conduct the Equality and Access Review and write the report.