William Eichler 16 March 2017

Activists to challenge council pension boycott restrictions in High Court

Activists to challenge council pension boycott restrictions in High Court image

Pro-Palestine campaigners have been granted permission to take the Government to the High Court over law preventing councils from boycotting companies involved in Israel’s human rights violations.

Whitehall amended the rules governing Local Government Pensions Schemes (LGPS) with new guidance last October to stop councils using pensions and procurement to boycott or divest from foreign allies.

The move was designed to prevent councils joining the pro-Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) which aims to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, its siege of Hamas-controlled Gaza and discrimination against Israeli Arabs.

A judicial review has given the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) – along with War on Want and Campaign Against Arms Trade – permission to challenge the Government’s position at the High Court.

The judge described the case as ‘of significant public importance’ and ordered that the trial be expedited to begin as soon as possible after 1st April.

‘We are delighted that the court has agreed that PSC’s challenge to the Government is of significant public importance and has granted permission for the case to proceed,’ said PSC director Ben Jamal.

‘This represents a huge step in our efforts to overturn the Government’s attempts to prevent pension schemes from making ethical investment decisions.

‘The guidance represents a wider attack on people’s rights to protest about Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights, including via the promotion of the peaceful campaign for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions.

‘We are determined to defend both the rights of Palestinians and the ability of citizens everywhere to take action in support of those rights.’

Photo: B Christopher/Shutterstock.com

Highways jobs

Social Worker

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£24,799 - £32,878
Do you feel that you can work to deliver the outcomes of personalisation?  Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Partnerships & Activities Manager

London Borough of Bexley
£31,353 - £36,876
Seeking an experienced manager to work in the Parks and Open Spaces Team of Bexley Council’s Communities Department. Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Personal Assistant

Camden London Borough Council
£30,066 - £34,538
We have an exciting opportunity for an experienced and professional Personal Assistant to join the Supporting People Directorate. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Strategy and Partnerships Officer

Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Council
£25,809 - 42,684
This is an exciting role in the new Strategy and Engagement function at the heart of the Council, supporting the... Kingston Upon Thames (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Council

Bridges & Structures Technician/Inspector

Swindon Borough Council
£23,014 to £30,980 p.a. depending on qualifications and experience
We are seeking a Technician/ Inspector either as a fully qualified and experienced individual or as a Trainee. Swindon, Wiltshire
Recuriter: Swindon Borough Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The March issue of Local Government News explores alternative funding channels that are available to councils beyond the Public Works Loan Board, what hurdles merging councils face in coming together, and how local government is handling GDPR.

This issue also has a special highways and street lighting section exploring how councils can use lighting to embark on their smart city journey and using IoT technology to weather the storm.

Register for your free magazine