572. Prohibition of discrimination under United Kingdom law.

The right to equal treatment has been described as being essential to democracy and to the effective operation of modern society1, and is recognised in the United Kingdom to some extent by the common law2, but more clearly in statute law. Initial statutory protection was 'strand-specific' and provided protection to particular groups3, but has subsequently been harmonised by the Equality Act 2010, which defines age, disability, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation as 'protected characteristics'4 and provides that direct discrimination5, indirect discrimination6, victimisation7, harassment8, discrimination arising from disability9 and failing to