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BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 12 June 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:S3-7198

Failure to consider whether an attack on an employee was racially motivated constitutes racism in itself according to new case law reported inIDS Brief(1999:637;3-4). The Employment Appeals Tribunal, which forms a court of appeal for decisions made at industrial tribunals, ruled on a case in which the racial motive for an attack was ignored by both the company and an industrial tribunal: both parties were dismissed for “fighting.” Simply put, the ruling says that ignoring the reason for the violence because it was based on race is behaviour based on race. The decision may have implications throughout discrimination law.