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Promoting dialogue between human rights researchers, practitioners and policy-makers from around the world.

Original contributions on recent human rights law developments across the globe, including case law, current litigation, legislation, policy-making and activism are welcome.

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Lessons from Sir Henry Brooke: Making Rights Real (II)

Jonathan Cooper 1st March 2019

In my last post, I argued that the judgment in Gareth Lee v Ashers Bakery is the consequence of the failure to follow a structured human rights assessment. This is why. Gareth Lee is gay and lives in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland denies gay men and lesbians the right to marry. Gareth went to a […]

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Lessons from Sir Henry Brooke: Making Rights Real (I)

Jonathan Cooper 1st March 2019

What if? What if the UK House of Lords (as the UK Supreme Court then was) had left the judgment of Lord Justice Brooke in Begum in the Court of Appeal intact? Brooke LJ in that case held that the school uniform policy of Denbigh High School was unlawful under the Human Rights Act because, […]

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Indian Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Women’s Entry into Religious Temple

Raja Dandamudi 11th October 2018

Recently, a (4:1) majority of a five-judge bench of the Indian Supreme Court in Indian Lawyers Association v. State of Kerala upheld the right of women to worship in the famous Sabarimala temple, irrespective of their age. This judgement struck down a rule which banned the entry of women between the ages 10 to 50 years into the temple. The judgment has thereby sounded the death […]

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Religious symbols in schools: Passive and harmless or a powerful threat?

Olivia Rani Bessant 9th October 2018

In Lautsi v Italy (2012), the applicant argued that the presence of crucifixes in state school classrooms violated students’ Article 9 ECHR right to religious freedom, but the ECtHR deemed the cross a ‘passive symbol’ and Article 9 respected. Yet in Dahlab v Switzerland (2001),an earlier case the applicant cited, banning a teacher from wearing her hijab […]

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HM Chief Inspector v Interim Executive of Al-Hijrah School: Religious Conviction is Not a Solvent of Legal Obligation

John Bowers QC 3rd July 2018

The most interesting feature of the case of HM Chief Inspector v Interim  Executive of Al Hijrah School [2018] IRLR 334 is the split between the reasoning of the majority (Etherton MR and Beatson LJ) and minority (Gloster LJ) in the Court of Appeal. Although they agreed in the result (that there was unlawful discrimination […]

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