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If the EOC thinks that a public authority on which a notice has been served has failed to comply with the specific duties or to provide the EOC with any information required by the notice, the EOC may apply to a county court for an order requiring the authority to comply.

S32 Equality Act 2006 (margin note)


The CEHR has powers to issue compliance notices in respect of a failure to comply with the general duty, as well as a failure to comply with the specific duties:   

These notices can require public authorities to provide information on how they intend to comply with the general or specific duties, including information on what steps they intend to take or propose to take to comply with the duties.

CEHR may not issue a notice requiring a public authority to comply with the general duty unless the CEHR has carried out an assessment and the notice relates to the results of that assessment. See Appendix G for details on the assessment process.  

If a public authority has failed to comply with a requirement of the notice either to comply with the duty or provide information, the CEHR may apply for a court order requiring compliance.  It may not, however, apply to the court until a period specified in the original notice has expired.


The court may grant the order in the terms that the EOC or CEHR applied for or in more limited terms.  If the court makes an order and the authority does not abide by it, the authority may be found to be in contempt of court.

S31 Equality Act (margin note)


In addition to these powers, the CEHR will have the power to conduct an assessment to determine whether a public authority has complied with the specific duties.  It may choose to do so before issuing a compliance notice, but is not obliged to do so.   

Enforcement of the general duty via judicial review

S30 Equality Act 2006 (margin note)


If a public authority (including a private or voluntary organisation exercising public functions) does not comply with the general duty, its actions or failure to act can be challenged through an application to the High Court for judicial review.  An application could be made by a person or group of people with an interest in the matter, or by the EOC or (from late 2007) the CEHR.  

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