Core Issues Trust vs TfL
The ruling in the case of Core Issues Trust versus Transport for London (TfL) is now available.
A Quick summary of the main points the judge made.
- TfL acted far to quickly in banning Core Issues’ advert. In the internal correspondence of the 4th July 2012 there is little evidence they sought any legal advice or were considering carefully any duty of care under the Equality Act (s. 126 and 175)
- There was no automatic “Right to Buy” for advertising space on London Buses and Core Issues Trust could not assume they were entitled to purchase de facto (s. 133).
- TfL were entitled to refuse the Core Issues Trust advert on the grounds it might cause offensive through its abrasiveness (s. 144 and 177)
- However, on that basis Core Issues Trust were unfairly treated as other previous adverts (Stonewall, British Humanist Association) should have been refused on the same basis (s. 135 and 136)
It’s kind of a no-score draw. Core Issues Trust don’t win but equally Stonewall will be on very dodgy grounds repeating their own campaign (which indeed is still on some London buses and now open to legal challenge on the basis of this ruling). It will be interesting to see what Core Issues Trust do next.
Unsurprisingly, the radio news only reported that TfL were entitled to refuse the Core Issues Trust adver.
While I have private views that are libertarian in this matter, I do not think the outcome is quite as balanced. The Lady judge was evidently vexed by the failure of the Mayor’s office to get involved.
Otherwise there was little to give comfort, especially to Anglican Mainstream who emerge with the homophobic label firmly attached see paragraph 142. I would have though that this must be seen as a disaster by them.