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Implicit Bias and Philosophy, Volume 2Moral Responsibility,  Structural Injustice, and Ethics$
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Michael Brownstein and Jennifer Saul

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198766179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198766179.001.0001

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Discrimination Law, Equality Law, and Implicit Bias

Discrimination Law, Equality Law, and Implicit Bias

(p.254) 3.4 Discrimination Law, Equality Law, and Implicit Bias
Implicit Bias and Philosophy, Volume 2

Katya Hosking

Roseanne Russell

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the extent to which British law can address the effects of implicit bias, taking gender as its focus. It considers the direct and indirect discrimination provisions of the Equality Act 2010 and finds them wanting due to their individualized fault-based approach. It suggests that the more proactive model of equality law contained in the public sector equality duty has greater potential to tackle the effects of implicit bias, but it too fails to deliver in practice. Ultimately the broad ‘folk-liberal’ orientation of British law and legislative processes downplays the structural character of discrimination, elevates the formal value of liberty, and sits uncomfortably with efforts to remedy inequalities resulting from implicit bias. The chapter concludes with two modest suggestions for reforming the current legal framework in an effort to move towards a more substantive model of equality which recognizes the effects of implicit bias.

Keywords:   implicit bias, direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, equality law, discrimination law, gender, Equality Act 2010, public sector equality duty

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