Commission for Racial Equality

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Not to be confused with Congress of Racial Equality.
The Commission for Racial Equality logo (UK).svg

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) was a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom which aimed to address racial discrimination and promote racial equality. Its work has been merged into the new Equality and Human Rights Commission.


The Commission was established by the Race Relations Act 1976, under James Callaghan's Labour government. Its first Chairman was former Conservative MP, David Lane.

The Race Relations Act, which has now been superseded by the Equality Act 2010, applied in England, Wales and Scotland. It did not apply in Northern Ireland, where the Race Relations (NI) Order 1997 applies. The CRE's work covered all the areas where people were protected against discrimination under the Race Relations Act.

The mission statement of the Commission was: "We work for a just and integrated society, where diversity is valued. We use persuasion and our powers under the law to give everyone an equal chance to live free from fear of discrimination, prejudice and racism."

The main goals of the CRE were:

The CRE organised the annual RIMA (Race in the Media) awards. In 2005 the Media Personality of the Year award was won by footballer Thierry Henry.



See also Category:Commissioners for Racial Equality

The CRE was run by up to 15 commissioners (including the chair), who were appointed by the Home Secretary. At January 2007 the commissioners were:


When it was first established, there was much judicial and governmental unrest about the scope of the Commission's investigatory powers. In one particular case, Lord Denning MR went so far as to compare the use by the CRE of its investigative powers to "the days of the inquisition".[1] Subsequent House of Lords decisions made clear that the Commission had no power to launch investigations into employers' affairs where there had been no allegation of discrimination.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Science Research Council v. Nasse [1979] QB 144
  2. ^ R v. CRE, ex parte Hillingdon Borough Council [1982] AC 779 and In re Prestige [1984] ICR 473