Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
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Commission submits European Court intervention

Commission submits European Court of Human Rights intervention on religious discrimination in the workplace

The Commission announced yesterday that it has submitted its intervention to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on four cases relating to alleged religious discrimination in the workplace.  The Commission’s submission has been informed by a public consultation.

The Commission has submitted that in the cases of Eweida and Chaplin that the Courts may not have given sufficient weight to Article 9(2) of the Convention; and in the cases of Ladele and Mcfarlane that the domestic courts came to the correct conclusions.

The Commission’s submission and the results of the public consultation can be found on its website: 
Legal intervention on religion or belief rights

For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.

For general enquiries please contact the Commission’s national helpline: England 0845 604 6610, Scotland 0845 604 5510 or Wales 0845 604 8810.

Notes to editors

The Commission is intervening in the following cases to be heard in the European Court of Human Rights:

  • Nadia Eweida & Shirley Chaplin against the United Kingdom

(Application numbers 48420/10 and 59842/10)

  • Lillian Ladele and Gary McFarlane against the United Kingdom

(Application numbers 51671/10 and 36516/10)

The Commission is intervening in these cases as an expert and independent body and not in support of any of the parties in this litigation. The Commission's role in intervening is to give its expert opinion on the appropriate application of law. This role and expertise has been recognised by the UK Parliament, which gave the Commission a power to intervene in legal proceedings involving equality or human rights by virtue of section 30 of the Equality Act.

The Commission takes a strategic approach when deciding to intervene.  It will generally intervene in cases where it can use its expertise to clarify or challenge an important area of the law.  The cases generally involve serious matters of public policy or general public concern.  The outcome of these cases often has a wide impact as they set precedents to be followed by the lower courts.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission.  It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain.  It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights.  The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act.  It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals. 

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