Equal Status Act 2000

Discriminating clubs.

8

8.—(1) In this section—

“certificate of registration”, in relation to a club, means the certificate of registration of the club under the Registration of Clubs Acts, 1904 to 1999;

“club” means a club that has applied for or holds a certificate of registration.

(2) For the purposes of this section—

( a) a club shall be considered to be a discriminating club if—

(i) it has any rule, policy or practice which discriminates against a member or an applicant for membership, or

(ii) a person involved in its management discriminates against a member or an applicant for membership in relation to the affairs of the club,

( b) without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), any of the following acts, if done by a club or a person involved in its management on any of the discriminatory grounds, is evidence that the club is a discriminating club:

(i) refusing to admit a person to membership;

(ii) providing different terms and conditions of membership for members or applicants for membership;

(iii) terminating the membership of a person or subjecting a member to any other sanction; or

(iv) refusing or failing, in contravention of section 4(1) , to do all that is reasonable to accommodate the needs of a member, or an applicant for membership, with a disability.

(3) Any person, including the Authority (in this section referred to as “the applicant”), may, on application to the District Court (in this section referred to as “the Court”), request that the Court make a determination as to whether a club is a discriminating club.

(4) An application may be dismissed by the Court if it is found to have been brought in bad faith or to be frivolous or vexatious or to relate to a trivial matter.

(5) A copy of the application shall be served by the applicant, by personal service or by post, on the club and on such members, officers and employees of the club (if any) and such other persons (if any) as the Court may by order direct and the application shall be considered by the Court, providing to the applicant, the club and to any such members, officers, employees and other persons a reasonable opportunity to make representations.

(6) After considering the representations, the Court shall—

( a) make an order in writing setting out its determination as to whether or not the club is a discriminating club, and

( b) cause a copy of the order to be transmitted to the Minister.

(7) ( a) Where—

(i) the Court makes an order under subsection (6)(a) setting out its determination that a club is a discriminating club, and

(ii) the order is the first such order in relation to the club,

the Court shall include in the order a provision suspending the certificate of registration of the club for a period not exceeding 30 days.

( b) Where the Court makes any subsequent such order, section 10 shall apply and have effect in relation to it.

(8) ( a) The applicant, the club or any other person on whom a copy of the application under subsection (3) was served may, within 42 days after the order, appeal to the Circuit Court against the order or a provision of the order suspending the certificate of registration.

( b) On an appeal against the order the Circuit Court may by order—

(i) in case the District Court has determined that the club is not a discriminating club, either—

(I) affirm the order, or

(II) allow the appeal, make a determination that theclub is a discriminating club and, if the determination is the first such determination in relation to the club, suspend the certificate of registration of the club for a period not exceeding 30 days,

(ii) in any other case—

(I) affirm the order,

(II) where the order includes a provision suspending the certificate of registration, affirm the determination of the District Court but vary the period of suspension, or

(III) allow the appeal.

( c) On an appeal which is only against a provision of the order suspending the certificate of registration, the Circuit Court may by order vary the period of suspension.

( d) The Circuit Court shall cause a copy of its order to be sent to the Minister.

(9) A period of suspension of a certificate of registration provided for in an order under subsection (6)(a) shall commence—

( a) if no appeal is made against the order or the period of suspension, on the 50th day after the order is made, or

( b) if such an appeal is made and the order is affirmed, or the period of suspension is affirmed or varied, on the 50th day after the order is made on the appeal,

and shall end—

(i) if no appeal is made against the order or the period of suspension, on the expiration of the period of suspension provided for in the order,

(ii) if such an appeal is made and the order or period of suspension is affirmed, on the expiration of the period of suspension so provided for, or

(iii) if on appeal the period of suspension is varied, on the expiration of the period as so varied.

(10) Where an appeal against an order under subsection (6)(a) (other than an order referred to in subsection (7)(a)) is not brought, the order shall come into effect on the 50th day after it is made.

(11) An order under this section suspending the certificate of registration of a club shall, while it is in force, have effect for the purposes of the Registration of Clubs Acts, 1904 to 1999, as if no certificate under those Acts had been granted in respect of the club for the period of suspension.

(12) No employee who is working in a club during any period of suspension of the club’s certificate of registration shall be disadvantaged by reason of the suspension in his or her employment during that period.

(13) For the purpose of subsection (12)“employee” means any person who works under a contract of employment with an employer or is a regular part-time employee as defined in section 1 of the Worker Protection (Regular Part-Time Employees) Act, 1991 .

(14) The Minister shall cause particulars of an order under subsection (6)(a) and of any order made by the Circuit Court on appeal to be published or made available in such form and manner as the Minister considers appropriate in the circumstances—

( a) after the expiration of 50 days from the making of the order under subsection (6)(a), or

( b) if the order has been appealed against, after the appeal has been finally determined.

(15) A club that is determined by the District Court under this section to be a discriminating club may at any time, on application to that Court, request that it make a determination as to whether the club continues to be a discriminating club and, where an application is made, the provisions of this section shall apply in the same manner and to the same extent as if the application were made under subsection (3) , except that a copy of the application shall, unless the Court otherwise directs, be served by the club, by personal service or by post, on the person who was the original applicant, if possible, and on such other persons as the Court may by order direct.