Race Relations Acts 1965 - 2000

Below are the Race Relations Acts 1965 - 2000.

Back to the week 2 - Race Equality in the UK page.

Race Relations Act of 1976

This Act finally extended the definition of discrimination to include indirect discrimination - any practice that disadvantaged a particular racial group. The Act replaced the Race Relations Board and the Community Relations Commission with the Commission for Racial Equality. Individuals gained the ability to take discrimination complaints directly to civil courts or industrial tribunals. The Commission for Racial Equality was given responsibility to enforce legislation and conduct research to inform government policy on race relations.

The principal functions of the new Commission was to  work towards the elimination of discrimination, to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups generally, and to keep the working of the legislation under review. It had a major strategic role in enforcing the law in the public interest, to assist and represent individuals in appropriate cases, and was  also concerned with wider policy: to identify and deal with discriminatory practices by industries, firms or institutions.

Despite all of these new acts, there was still no law against racial discrimination by the police in the conduct of their work. In 1999 the Macpherson Report concluded that the Metropolitan Police force was 'institutionally racist'. The point being made was that the way the police force was organised caused black people to be at a serious disadvantage to white people. Following this report, a new Act was passed in 2000.

Page updated: 09/10/2020 Page updated by: Gloucestershire County Council

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