John Cavanagh KC and Christopher Knight in Police Retirements Appeal


In the wake of the Comprehensive Spending Review in 2010, Police Forces across England and Wales had their budgets cut by 20%. As a result, all Forces sought to make significant savings to improve their efficiency. Many Forces included within their plans a reduction in the number of police officers. Police officers cannot be made redundant. However, an officer can be compulsorily retired in the general interests of efficiency of the Force, but only if he has become entitled to his full two-thirds pension entitlement (which is gained following thirty years’ pensionable service): regulation A19 of the Police Pensions Regulations 1987.

The use of regulation A19 is prima facie indirectly discriminatory on the grounds of age. Test cases of age discrimination were brought against five of the Forces which used A19: Devon & Cornwall, Nottinghamshire, West Midlands, North Wales and South Wales. In a judgment of 5 February 2014 the Employment Tribunal held that the Forces had not justified their use of regulation A19, and it had accordingly been an act of age discrimination. Permission to appeal to the EAT was granted by HHJ Peter Clark.

The appeal to the EAT will be heard by Langstaff P over three days on 11-13 March 2015. For coverage of the appeal, see

John Cavanagh KC and Christopher Knight appear for the five Police Forces.