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The force of due regard: the disability equality duty and policy‐making in a time of cuts

Ben Silverstone (Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, London, UK)

Social Care and Neurodisability

ISSN: 2042-0919

Article publication date: 15 August 2011




This paper seeks to discuss the case‐law stemming from the disability equality duty under section 49A of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, now reformulated as one part of the public sector equality duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.


The paper focuses in particular on the consequences of the case law for the development and implementation of policy relating to the provision of support for disabled people.


Analysis of the relevant legal principles and individual cases reveals the high standards by which policy‐making will be tested in the courts and the serious consequences of defects in the decision‐making process.

Practical implications

Policy‐makers and those acting on behalf of disabled people will need to pay extremely close attention to the requirements of the equality duty.


The paper highlights the nature of the new public sector equality duty and its growing importance to public authorities and those affected by their decisions in the new financially straitened policy environment.



Silverstone, B. (2011), "The force of due regard: the disability equality duty and policy‐making in a time of cuts", Social Care and Neurodisability, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 164-171.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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