Blog

Still the second sex: Some feminist reflections on the new General Comment of the UN Human Rights Committee on the right to life

Fleur van Leeuwen - 13th May 2019

In October 2018 the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee (HRC) adopted general comment (GC) 36 on the right to life, replacing GC 6 and GC 14. Latter documents date back to the 1980s and attest to the androcentric nature of the international human rights system. Neither document pays attention to issues that characteristically affect the […]

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UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children raises serious concerns regarding Ireland’s history of illegal adoption practices

Helen Kehoe - 23rd April 2019

Ireland has an extensive history of systemic human rights abuses of women and children, encompassing multiple institutional settings and spanning most of the 20th century: Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes, industrial schools and the non-consensual practice of symphysiotomy in hospitals. The legal responses of the state have been fragmented, generally narrow in approach, and often the subject of […]

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When does a person have an intellectual disability? The insights of the US Supreme Court

Martin Kwan - 15th April 2019

A death sentence against a convict with an intellectual disability (ID) would violate the Eighth Amendment’s proscription of cruel and unusual punishments, because it would serve no penological purpose. In the recent US Supreme Court (SC) decision of Moore v Texas, the issue was (once again, having been litigated before in 2017) the correctness of the […]

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Gym Use and Changing Rooms: the illegality and chilling effect of (trans)gender segregation

Peter Dunne and Alex Sharpe - 28th March 2019

A recent, high-profile article published on HuffPost claimed that the popular leisure group – David Lloyd Leisure – had decided to exclude all trans persons from their preferred gender segregated facilities unless they could produce a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). Given that only 4,500 GRCs have been issued (and that GRCs are not available to trans minors), this […]

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CJEU: Austrian Good Friday legislation constitutes direct discrimination on the grounds of religion

Diana Niksova - 27th March 2019

Under Austrian law, Good Friday is a public holiday only for members of the Evangelical Churches of the Augsburg and Helvetic Confessions, the Old Catholic Church, and the United Methodist Church. Hence, only members of these four Churches are entitled to an additional 14thpaid public holiday. They receive their regular salary if they do not […]

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Human Rights in Scotland

Nicole Busby - 14th March 2019

On 10th December 2018 the First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership set out its vision for the future of human rights in Scotland. The publication of the Group’s report on International Human Rights Day was the culmination of a participative process which stretched beyond its membership with representation from across civil society. The consideration of how […]

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Indian Supreme Court on Dance Bar Regulations: Victory for Bar Dancers?

Prankul Boobana - 12th March 2019

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India (‘SC’) recently relaxed the stringent conditions imposed by the Maharashtra government for obtaining licenses and running dance bars, public establishments which are an important source of livelihood for female dancers. These dancers generally belong to the traditional dancing communities and are following their hereditary occupation. It […]

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Successful Judicial Review of Benefits Payment in the UK

Leonie James - 11th March 2019

R (Johnson and others) and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2019] EWHC 23 (Admin) is an English High Court case relating to the benefit payment, Universal Credit. Universal Credit is a UK benefits payment, paid by the UK Government to support those out of work or in very low income work. In this […]

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Antwerp Court muddies the waters: Belgian Burkini Ban Justified

Marie Spinoy - 26th February 2019

On 18 December 2018, the Antwerp court of first instance held that the burkini ban in the Antwerp Police Regulations does not constitute discrimination based on religion. As opposed to the prior two Ghent rulings, the court held that any potential discrimination was justified by hygiene and safety reasons. Earlier, Antwerp had announced it would […]

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Secularism as separation and neutrality: A redefinition of Concepts by the Constitutional Court of Peru

Enlil Iván Herrera Pérez - 25th February 2019

Last month, the Constitutional Court of Peru issued a judgment in the case 00007-2014-PA/TC, which concerned an application for amparo (constitutional relief) in favour of a teacher. The case began when the teacher was transferred to a different school against her will. The case concerned issues that reached beyond a standard labour dispute: it raised […]

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The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018: A Tale of Reneged Promises

Vishakha Choudhary and Vishesh Sharma - 18th February 2019

On April 15, 2014, the Indian Supreme Court in National Legal Services Authority (‘NALSA’) v. Union of India recognised transgender persons as the ‘third gender’. The Court gleaned their extensive rights from the Constitution. By referring to the wide scope of Article 14, which guarantees the right to equality to ‘any person’, it emphasised equal […]

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: An Eightieth Anniversary Reflection

Dominic O'Sullivan - 11th February 2019

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) fills important gaps in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by recognising that human rights belong to peoples as well as to individuals. It emphasises collective rights to language, culture and natural resources as inherent to indigenous humanity. UNDRIP codifies indigenous rights against the state. Rights to […]

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