Professor David Miller was dismissed from the University after citing Zionism as a source of Islamaphobia and describing Israel as "the enemy of world peace." The university accepted that his comments were lawful, but found he had not met the standards of behaviour expected from staff. However, the tribunal held that Miller's views were protected by the Equality Act and his dismissal was discriminatory. 
Ian spoke to People Management about the case, and what it means for employers. He said: 
"Contrary to many headlines, the case does not determine that anti-Zionism will always be a protected characteristic. It is the nature of the belief that is important, not the subject. 
The Equality Act 2010 says that philosophical beliefs are protected. To amount to the protected characteristic of belief, a belief must be genuinely held; must be a belief – not an opinion; must be about a substantial aspect of human life and behaviour; and must attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance. It must also be worthy of respect in a democratic society, compatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others. 
The Claimant said in evidence that his beliefs are not directed towards the Jewish people and are not racist. He believes that the way the state of Israel was created and its impact on others was imperialist, whereas he believes in anti-imperialism. 
The case was extremely detailed and raised several contentious issues. The Tribunal concluded that, based on the evidence, the Claimant's belief was a philosophical belief about anti-Zionism. However, the case does not create a precedent for all anti-Zionism views. Anybody wishing to rely on belief as a protected characteristic will need to show that their beliefs also satisfy the tests. 
It is however a valuable reminder for employers that, even if they find the views unpalatable, potentially inflammatory and difficult, they must carefully consider and apply the law properly before responding." 
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