Thursday 21 September 2017

Lecturer loses gender discrimination appeal

Tim Healy

A UCD school of law and business lecturer has lost her High Court action alleging the failure to promote her to the rank of professor amounted to gender discrimination.

Dr Eleanor O'Higgins had challenged the Labour Court's dismissal of her complaint of gender bias, following the decision of a UCD promotions committee to reject her 2007 application for promotion.

She asked the High Court to quash that dismissal and direct the Labour Court to re-hear the matter.

The Labour Court had found Dr O'Higgins had made out a primae-facie case from which gender discrimination might be inferred.

It then carried out an inquiry to establish if UCD could rebut the inference of gender discrimination – and concluded it had done so.

In his judgment yesterday, Mr Justice John Cooke said it was important to note the various applicants for promotion to professor were not competing with one another and there was no limit on the number of promotions that might be granted.

The issue the Labour Court had to decide was not whether or not Dr O'Higgins merited promotion in accordance with the designated criteria, he said.

The judge ruled that no error of law and no point of law had been made out which would entitle Dr O'Higgins to orders quashing the Labour Court decision.

Irish Independent

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