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Spiritualist wins religious discrimination victory

13 November 2009

Alan Power, a police trainer who describes himself as a spiritualist and believes he can communicate with the dead, can challenge his dismissal on the grounds of religious discrimination, the central London employment tribunal has ruled.

Power said he had held his beliefs since childhood, when he saw ghosts and had regularly attended a spiritualist church since 1980.

Greater Manchester Police Authority argued that a decision in his favour would open the floodgates to similar cases.

However, Judge Clark said his beliefs were worthy of respect in a democratic society, and had sufficient cogency and seriousness to fall into the category of a philosophical belief.

The ruling follows the EAT’s judgment earlier this month in the Nicholson case, when Mr Justice Burton held that a belief in climate change amounted to a philosophical belief under the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003, along with beliefs in communism, free-market capitalism, vegetarianism and Darwinism.

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