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Taking Conscience Seriously

Taking Conscience Seriously

Ladele (see previous posts) exemplifies an important public debate: has the embrace of gay equality by the liberal state become oppressive towards free conscience rights?   The legalization of gay marriage is troubling for many and the extension of anti-discrimination norms to cover sexual orientation may force many into painful dilemmas as to how they reconcile [...]

Yordanova and others v Bulgaria: an Illustration of the Absence of Watertight Divisions Between the Social Right to Adequate Housing and the Civil Right to Respect for one’s Home.

Yordanova and others v Bulgaria: an Illustration of the Absence of Watertight Divisions Between the Social Right to Adequate Housing and the Civil Right to Respect for one’s Home.

By Adélaïde Remiche – On 24 April 2012, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) handed down a unanimous judgment in the case of Yordanova and others v Bulgaria, in which it ruled against Bulgaria for its attempt to remove Bulgarian nationals of Roma origin from their homes which had been unlawfully built on a municipal [...]

R (Hodkin): A Signal to Rethink Religious Worship

By Ilias Trispiotis In R (on the application of Hodkin) v Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages [2012] EWHC 3635 the High Court acknowledged that a broader definition of worship should be part of the future judicial agenda. That could be a positive step, especially vis-à-vis non-theistic religions. The case arose when a couple [...]

Dismissal and the Band of Reasonable Responses; an unconventional approach to Convention rights?

Dismissal and the Band of Reasonable Responses; an unconventional approach to Convention rights?

By Heather Williams QC The Court of Appeal recently decided in Turner v East Midlands Trains Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 1470 that the band of reasonable responses test (“BORR”), applied by Employment Tribunals to determine whether a dismissal is fair or unfair for the purposes of section 98(4) Employment Rights Act 1996, meets the standards [...]

Prisoners’ Voting Rights: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Prisoners’ Voting Rights: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

If ‘suffrage is the pivotal right’, then it is only fitting that the issue of prisoners’ voting rights has become the turning point of the UK government’s approach to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The last time a Strasbourg judgment provoked such a sharp response by the UK government was probably the 1995 [...]

Human Rights and the UK Constitution

Human Rights and the UK Constitution

UK human rights law has been the subject of considerable controversy over the past few years. A new report that I have written for the British Academy Policy Centre, Human Rights and the UK Constitution, aims to clarify the central issues at stake in this debate. Completion of the report was overseen by a steering [...]

SCOPPOLA v. ITALY (No. 3): A Step Backwards

In her recent post, Natasha Holcroft-Emmess critiques the European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber (GC) judgment in Scoppola (no. 3); she rightly notes that the GC has taken a step backwards in terms of protecting prisoners’ voting rights. Unbound by constraints of Strasbourg jurisprudence, I have made elsewhere ‘the case for letting prisoners vote’, arguing [...]

Scoppola v Italy (No. 3): Getting Prisoner Voting Right?

In Scoppola v Italy (No. 3) (Application no. 126/05, 22 May 2012) the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights once again engaged with the vexed issue of prisoners’ voting rights. Italian legislation permanently disenfranchised prisoners convicted of specific offences against the State and those sentenced to more than five years’ incarceration. The [...]

Article 14 ECHR: the Elusive Other Status

Article 14 ECHR: the Elusive Other Status

The recent judgment of Swift v Secretary of State for Justice [2012] EWHC 2000 (QB) raises some interesting questions regarding the operation of article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”). The case concerned a claim for tortious damages under s1(3)(b) Fatal Accidents Act 1976. As the claimant, the deceased’s unmarried partner, had not [...]