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Public Function in United Kingdom

Public function in the Context of Equality Law

The meaning of Public function, published by the Equality and Diversity Forum (a United Kindom network of equality and human rights organisations), is the following: the term ‘public function’ has a very particular meaning in the context of the Equality Duty. It refers to things that a public body or someone acting on its behalf does when delivering a public service or carrying out activities that are public in their nature. An activity is public in nature if it is something that a private individual or organisation would not normally do, such as arresting or imprisoning someone. Other examples include policing, prison services, public healthcare, government policymaking, local council planning services, awarding funding and licensing. Activities may be public functions if, for example: _ public funds are used to provide the service; _ the organisation is exercising powers given by law; _ it is imposed on people; or _ it is a substitute for something that central or local government would otherwise provide. Ultimately, the decision as to whether a function is a public function is for the courts. Where a private or voluntary organisation is carrying out public functions, the Equality Duty only applies to that particular function, and not to all the organisation’s other activities.


See Also

  • Equality Law
  • Equality Act
  • Equality Legislation
  • Human Rights

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This entry about Public Function has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0) licence, which permits unrestricted use and reproduction, provided the author or authors of the Public Function entry and the Encyclopedia of Law are in each case credited as the source of the Public Function entry. Please note this CC BY licence applies to some textual content of Public Function, and that some images and other textual or non-textual elements may be covered by special copyright arrangements. For guidance on citing Public Function (giving attribution as required by the CC BY licence), please see below our recommendation of "Cite this Entry".

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(2017, 05). Public Function lawi.org.uk Retrieved 04, 2021, from https://lawi.org.uk/public-function/

05 2017. 04 2021 <https://lawi.org.uk/public-function/>

"Public Function" lawi.org.uk. lawi.org.uk, 05 2017. Web. 04 2021. <https://lawi.org.uk/public-function/>

"Public Function" lawi.org.uk. 05, 2017. Accesed 04 2021. https://lawi.org.uk/public-function/

Timothy Millett, 'Public Function' (lawi.org.uk 2017) <https://lawi.org.uk/public-function/> accesed 2021 April 12

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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Public Function
  • Author: Timothy Millett
  • Description: Public function in the Context of Equality Law The meaning of Public function, published by the Equality and Diversity [...]

This entry was last updated: November 4, 2020

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