What Human Rights do for Equality

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Equality
2000
Europe

Juries must not discriminate

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A defendant in criminal proceedings believed members of the jury were racist as they had made racist jokes. The court agreed the trial had been unfair.

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Equality
1997
Europe

Female-to-male transsexuals can be treated as the father of their child

Related European Convention Articles

A transsexual was entitled to be treated as the father of his child, even though he could not be registered as the father on the child's birth certificate. The law has now changed and this would be possible.

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    Equality
    2014
    UK

    Transgender people can stay married after changing gender

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    Gay couples can convert their civil partnerships to marriages. Transgender people do not now have to get divorced following surgery.

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    Equality
    2006
    Europe

    Children of all races must have equal access to education

    Related European Convention Articles

    Disproportionate numbers of Roma children were placed in special schools. This breached their right to access to primary education and their right not to be discriminated against on racial grounds.

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      TOP 50
      Equality
      1999
      Europe

      Openly gay soldiers can serve in the Armed Forces

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      Four men were dismissed from the Royal Navy for being homosexuals. The European Court of Human Rights ruled their their right to privacy had been violated. Because of this, the Armed Forces withdrew the long-standing ban on homosexuals serving.

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      Children
      2007
      Europe

      Children of all races must have equal access to education

      Related European Convention Articles

      Disproportionate numbers of Roma children were placed in special schools. This breached their right to access to primary education and their right not to be discriminated against on racial grounds.

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        Equality
        1995
        Europe

        Rape is accepted as essentially debasing

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        A man appealed against his conviction of raping his wife, arguing that rape in marriage wasn't a crime at the time. The European Court rejected this, and said attitudes to rape were travelling in a clear direction that was defined and foreseeable.

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        TOP 50
        Equality
        2005
        UK

        Racial discrimination is unacceptable at all stages of immigration process

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        British immigration officers at Prague Airport were told to make it more difficult for Roma people to enter. The court said that racial discrimination at any point in the asylum process is not permitted, and no race of people is excluded from the right to asylum.

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        Disability
        2010
        UK

        The law now protects disabled people in many areas

        Related European Convention Articles

        The Equality Act outlaws discrimination on grounds of disability, age, sex, race, religion and other characteristics, at work and when receiving services. It brought together all existing anti-discrimination law.

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        Disability
        2004
        UK

        Disabled people must be able to access public transport too

        Related European Convention Articles

        A wheelchair user wanted a train company to pay for a taxi to assist his train travel. The court said as long as it was reasonably practicable, disabled people should be given equivalent access to public transport.

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          Equality
          2000
          Europe

          Consensual gay activity is legal

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          A man was prosecuted for gross indecency for taking part in gay group sex. The European Court of Human Rights said this was a violation of his right to privacy. The law was changed in 2003 by the Sexual Offences Act.

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          TOP 50
          50 Cases
          2004
          UK

          Gay people are treated equally in inheritance matters

          Related European Convention Articles

          A gay man was stopped from inheriting a council flat from his dead male partner. Only a husband or wife could inherit. He challenged the law and the law had to change.

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            Equality
            2004
            Europe

            Gypsies have same right to keep their homes as caravan owners

            Related European Convention Articles

            The Council wanted to evict a gypsy family because of anti-social behaviour. The family won its case and were allowed to stay. The government changed the law shortly afterwards to protect gypsies from eviction.

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            TOP 50
            50 Cases
            2010
            UK

            Gay and lesbian people can’t be returned to persecution

            Related European Convention Articles

            Under the United Nations Refugee Convention, social groups that have a well-founded fear of persecution are refugees. In this case, the Supreme Court said gays and lesbians could not be expected to live closeted lives in places they are persecuted.

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            Equality
            1997
            Europe

            The age of consent is equal for all

            Related European Convention Articles

            The UK had an higher age of consent for homosexuals. The European Court said this discriminated against Mr Surtherland and violated his right to privacy. The UK government then committed to equalise the age of consent, which it did in 2000.

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            Equality
            2004
            Europe

            The age of consent must be the same whether you’re gay or straight

            Related European Convention Articles

            A man had been arrested and charged for having sex with a 16 year old. He won his case in the European Court. It was unlawful discrimination and a breach of the right to privacy to have a different age of consent for homosexual and heterosexual intercourse.

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              Equality
              2013
              UK

              You can’t refuse a couple a double bed because they’re gay

              Related European Convention Articles

              Christian bed and breakfast hotel owners refused a double-bedded room to a same sex couple becasue they weren't married. Gay people couldn't get married. The Supreme Court said this was discrimination.

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              Disability
              2015
              UK

              A disabled person can’t be evicted if it’s discriminatory

              Related European Convention Articles

              A disabled man facing eviction said he was being discriminated against by his landlord. The Supreme Court said that judges have to consider discrimination eviction cases carefully and in detail.

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                TOP 50
                Equality
                1981
                Europe

                Being gay is not a crime

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                A Northern Irish man had been interrogated by the local police on his sexual activities - he was gay and Northern Ireland's law punished homosexuality. The European Court ruled his right to privacy had been breached. Shortly afterwards, Northern Ireland decriminalised homosexuality.

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                Disability
                2013
                UK

                The social care system must be fair to disabled people

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                Getting employment and support allowance required a questionnaire and usually a face-to-face interview. This was causing major problems for people with mental health problems. The court said the system was unlawfully discriminating against them.

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                  Equality
                  1985
                  Europe

                  Female immigrants get the same protection as male immigrants

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  Three women were legally resident in the UK. Their husbands, resident abroad, were not allowed to live in the UK with their wives and families. They successfully challenged the rules, which were later changed.

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                  Equality
                  1999
                  UK

                  Same-sex couples can be a family

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  A man was not allowed to inherit the council flat of his long-term male partner, who had died, because they were gay. The court said this was discrimination. He won his case.

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                    TOP 50
                    50 Cases
                    2002
                    Europe

                    Post-operative transsexuals can marry who they like

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    A male to female transsexual was still considered male, so couldn't marry a man. This was a violation of her right to privacy. Two years later, the Gender Recognition Act gave legal recognition to transsexuals in their acquired gender.

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                    TOP 50
                    50 Cases
                    2014
                    UK

                    Police must investigate rape claims

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    Two women complained to the police about sexual assault by a taxi driver. He was not brought to justice. It turned out he had raped and/or assaulted 100 women. The women won their claim that they suffered degrading treatment because the police failed to act.

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                    What Human Rights do for Equality
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