Freedom from Discrimination

Notes on discrimination

  • Created by: Jem
  • Created on: 26-04-13 16:10

Freedom from Discrimination

Discrimination: treating a person differently based on an aspect of their lives e.g. gender, race etc.

 Article 14: “The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination.”

                   i.e. it protects the rights in the European Convention of Human Rights, or ECHR against discrimination


A Parasitic Article: Article 14 claims can only be brought in connection with other articles in the ECHR. IT IS NOT A FREESTANDING RIGHT.

 Protocol 12 of the ECHR: Provides a freestanding non-discrimination right.

But not signed or ratified in the UK: it is not applicable in the UK.

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Freedom from Discrimination

A v Secretary of State for the Home Department: ‘A’ was one of 14 people held under s.23 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 which allowed detention without trial for foreign nationals, but not UK citizens.  Article 14 infringement upheld alongside Article 5 infringement.  Issue of declaration of incompatibility. 

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Historical Position

Originally, Common Law had no restrictions against prejudice, no case law to protect individuals.

Basic freedom of British law: A person may do anything not prohibited by the law.  The law did not discriminate, did not prevent discrimination, so it was perfectly legal to discriminate in society.

   But this was unjust.  There should be consequences for discrimination.  So law was reformed.

1960s: Need to legally prevent discrimination was recognised.

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Historical Position

Race Relations Act 1965: Prohibition on racial discrimination.

Sex Discrimination Act 1975: Prohibited discrimination based on gender.

 Now there were legal consequences for discrimination; a reform of behaviour in society and education for members of society.

The law has covered a large range of discrimination, but the statutes amassed through this were complex and confusing.  They were also hard to remember and showed anti-discrimination law to be developed in a piecemeal way.

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Historical Position

2009: Former labour government announced law on discrimination had grown confusing and difficult to understand.

9 major statutes

100 statutory instruments

2,500 pages of statutory guidance

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