‘Unlawful’ – The High Court brands the Government Consultation unlawful after the government failed to properly consult with disabled people before completion of their Disability Strategy last year.
A group of disabled people challenged the government which ended with the High Court ruling that the consultation was unlawful. The government intends to appeal this decision, stating they carried out a ‘fact finding’ exercise ahead of the strategy.
You may remember when the strategy was released – Ben Reed, CEO wrote a piece for the blog then, you can refresh your memory here:
We asked Ben what he had to say following the news of the consultation ruling. He said:
‘This is exactly what was wrong with the strategy when it was released. You can tell that disabled people were not meaningfully consulted with, and were not part of shaping it, because it was just a list of promises based on issues disabled people are facing.
This ruling highlights the importance of the government understanding they need to listen to us, and consult with us properly – not just ask us questions on a form.
We need to feel that our views are listened to, feel that our thoughts are valid, so we can work together to create a strategy that works.
The fact that the government would rather appeal the decision than enter into consultation and make the changes the strategy needs, speaks volumes. It’s not a fair system when it relies on a group of individual disabled members of the public to challenge the government.’
Depending on where you live, you can access a local DPO (Disabled People’s Organisation – just like us) and ask them what they’re doing to represent your views to the government.
This means next time there is a government consultation, you can make sure your views are represented.
If you’re an Equal Lives member already, you will hear about this work when it happens. If you’re not already a member, you can join here: