The High Court has allowed a claim for judicial review brought by a survivor of sexual and domestic violence against a local authority’s decision to impose no limit on the number of strip clubs it would license. Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council consulted on, and then decided to implement, a new Sex Entertainment Policy removing any cap on the number of licensed Sex Entertainment Venues. Although numerous respondents to the consultation objected to the proposal on the basis that strip clubs contribute to a culture in which women and girls are discriminated against and subjected to harassment and sex-based violence, these concerns were dismissed by BCP as illegitimate ‘moral objections’. Mr Justice Choudhury held that concerns about the impact of such venues on women and girls were relevant considerations that could not lawfully be dismissed without conscientious consideration once they had been raised by consultees, and that the Council had failed to comply with its Public Sector Equality Duties.
The judgment can be found here.
Jessica Boyd KC acted for the Claimant, instructed by Deighton Peirce Glynn.