Sikhism, ethnicity and the 2021 Census: R (Gill)

In R (Gill) v UK Statistics Authority [2019] EWHC 3407 (Admin), Mr Amrik Singh Gill, as Chair of the Sikh Federation UK, sought judicial review of “the contemplated exercise of Her Majesty’s discretion to direct a census, based on [an] Order in Council made on the basis of a draft which does not include a Sikh ethnic tick box on the basis of the reasoning detailed in the White Paper” [1: emphasis added] and a declaration that “it would be unlawful for Her Majesty to make an Order in Council which follows the reasoning of the White Paper so as not to include the Sikh ethnic group tick box in the ‘particulars to be stated in returns’ section of the Order” [2].

In short, he claimed that the Office for National Statistics had adopted an unlawful approach in assessing whether or not the 2021 census questions about membership of ethnic groups should include a specific tick-box response option for Sikhs, in addition to the option of entering “Sikh” in the space marked “other” [5]. Continue reading