Police officers who were forced to retire after 30 years in the service have won an employment tribunal claim against their former bosses for age discrimination.
Members of Nottinghamshire Police Federation were among officers from five forces who took action after being told to leave their jobs amid 20% budget cuts.
Mick Taylor from the group, that represents rank and file officers, said: "We are advised that the decision has gone in favour of our former colleagues.
"Our legal advisor will be writing to each former officer involved in the case once she has digested the content of the final report.
"We are pleased that our decision to support the legal action on behalf of our former colleagues has been vindicated.
"At the same time we are acutely aware that during a period of severe budgetary cuts, any prospective or potential financial burden on the force is no cause for celebration, particularly at a time when many colleagues will be worrying about job security.
"We shall therefore make every effort in assisting the force to the best of our ability, to manage the continuing financial challenges over the coming months and years."
Nottinghamshire Police has 42 days to appeal the decision.
It faced claims along with West Midlands, Devon and Cornwall, North Wales and South Wales Police.
Hundreds of officers were made to leave their jobs in the wake of the budget cuts, and claim they were indirectly discriminated against because of their age.
They were compelled to retire under Regulation A19, which means those below chief officer rank can be required to retire after 30 years ''in the general interests of efficiency''.
The Police Superintendents Association of England and Wales brought test cases on behalf of five members - one from each force.
National Secretary Graham Cassidy said: "We obviously are delighted with the decision by the employment tribunal and we note that it was a unanimous decision by all of the judges.
"However this is not a time for triumphalism. There are no winners here. Each of these five test cases represents a police officer at the peak of their service, all of them receiving outstanding annual appraisals for their performance, who were cast aside as a result of what we now know to be an unlawful application of A19."
The panel of three employment judges found that the use of A19 was "not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim".