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R (on the application of E) (Respondent) v (1) JFS GOVERNING BODY (2) ADMISSIONS PANEL OF JFS (Appellants) : R (on the application of E) (Respondent) v (1) JFS GOVERNING BODY (2) ADMISSIONS PANEL OF J

The test of matrilineal descent from a Jewish woman, which was one of a Jewish school's admission requirements, was a test of ethnic origin, meaning that the requirement constituted direct racial discrimination.

22 December 2009

The appellant school (J) appealed against a decision ((2009) EWCA Civ 626, (2009) 4 All ER 375) that its admissions policy had directly racially discriminated against the son (M) of the respondent father (E), contrary to the Race Relations Act 1976 s.1. E was Jewish by descent and his wife (W) had converted to Judaism through a non-orthodox synagogue. J's admissions policy was to give preference to children whose status as Jews was recognised by the Office of the Chief Rabbi (OCR), which represented orthodox Jews. The OCR required that the child's mother be Jewish either by matrilineal descent or by conversion under orthodox auspices, or that the child had converted. W's conversion was not recognised by the OCR, and M had not undertaken to convert to orthodox Judaism, and so he was refused admission. E failed in his claim for judicial review of J's decision but his appeal was successful. J argued that (1) the matrilineal test was based on religious law and the discrimination J had a...

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