Delivering rights for Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland: ethnicity defined in law

Impact: Impact - for External PortalPolicy and legislation


Being recognised in law as an ‘ethnic minority’ has far-reaching consequences, including the right of access to welfare and protection from race discrimination. As part of an industrial tribunal case in September 2008, research conducted at Strathclyde was used as expert testimony that resulted in giving Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland such legal status. This judgment has meant that the entire population of this group now has access to protection under Race Relations legislation. As a result, the case has been cited to support other cases that challenge decisions which affect the everyday lives of Gypsy/Travellers. The research and case has also directly shaped public policy by the Scottish Government in relation to human rights, and in subsequent policy on equality, accommodation and employment. At the local level for individual Gypsy/Travellers, the ruling has implications for their access to services, with health care and social work organisations now explicitly including guidance on support for this ethnic group.
Impact statusOpen
Category of impactPolicy and legislation


  • REF2014 impact case study