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Prohibited Grounds of Discrimination under EU Law and the European Convention on Human Rights: Problems of Contrast and Overlap

  • Nicholas Bamforth

Extract

Both EU law and the European Convention on Human Rights contain protections against invidious forms of discrimination. EU law has long been concerned to combat discrimination on the grounds of sex and nationality, and has more recently begun to tackle discrimination on the bases of race, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief and disability. Article 14 of the Convention is also concerned with these grounds—some explicitly, some through judicial interpretation—as well as others such as birth status. However, at a level of detail the two bodies of law differ in many ways: for example, in the contexts in which they apply, in their treatment of justifications for prima facie acts of discrimination, and in the extent to which direct and indirect discrimination are prohibited. It is thus a matter for debate how far they in fact overlap, or have the potential to do so. Furthermore, given that it is a shared concern of EU law and the Convention to combat invidious forms of discrimination, their respective anti-discrimination protections might be felt to provide a particularly strong illustration of the extent to which there are similarities and divergences between the two bodies of law. In this sense, anti-discrimination law offers an illuminating case study of the intersections and differences between the two bodies of ‘European’ law, both at European level and within the domestic legal systems of EU Member States.

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1 Given that all EU Member States are also signatories to the Convention.

2 Case 6/64, Costa v ENEL [1965] ECR 505, 593–4 (supremacy); Case 26/62, Van Gend en Loos [1963] ECR 1 (direct effect); Case C–213/89, R. v Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte Factortame [1990] ECR I–2433 (disapplication of national norms).

3 Case 14/83, Von Colson and Kamann v Land Nordrhein-Westfalen [1984] ECR 1891; Case C–106/90, Marleasing SA v La Comercial Internacional de Alimentacion SA [1990] ECR I–4135.

4 Case C–46/93, Brasserie du Pêcheur SA v Germany [1996] ECR I–1029.

5 (1999) 29 EHRR 493, para 135.

6 For illuminating comparative analysis see the essays in Gearty, C (ed), European Civil Liberties and the European Convention on Human Rights: A Comparative Study (The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1997).

7 See Ellis, E EU Anti-Discrimination Law (Oxford, OUP, 2005), 37 .

8 Human Rights Act 1998, s 3.

9 Ibid, s 4.

10 These features might be described as examples of the emergence of a ‘multi-layered’ constitution: see further Bamforth, N and Leyland, PPublic Law in a Multi-Layered Constitution’, ch 1 in Bamforth, N and Leyland, P (eds), Public Law in a Multi-Layered Constitution (Oxford, Hart, 2003).

11 [2005] UKHL 37, para 50.

12 Gardner, JOn the Ground of Her Sex(uality)’ (1998) 18 OJLS 167 , 167. For specific discussion in the context of Art 14 of the European Convention see van Dijk, P and van Hoof, GJH Theory and Practice of the European Convention on Human Rights 3rd edn (The Hague, Kluwer, 1998) 718-20.

13 The criteria for what counts as invidious coming ultimately from our background theories of justice: see Bamforth, NConceptions of Anti-Discrimination Law’ (2004) 24 OJLS 693 .

14 Wintemute, RFilling the Article 14 “Gap”: Government Ratification and Judicial Control of Protocol No.12 ECHR’ [2004] EHRLR 484 , 491.

15 Fredman, S Discrimination Law (Oxford, OUP, 2002) 67 .

16 Ibid, 67. Note also R. v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, ex parte Carson [2005] UKHL 37, para 10 (Lord Hoffmann).

17 Fredman, S, above n 15, 67–8.

18 Ibid, 68.

19 Ibid, 68.

20 Emphasis added.

21 Note also Fredman’s analysis of problems associated with each approach: above n 15, 67–82; see also Hepple, B, Coussey, M and Choudhury, T Equality: A New Framework, Report of the Independent Review of the Enforcement of UK Anti-Discrimination Legislation (Oxford, Hart, 2000) paras 2.61–2.62.

22 See Livingstone, SArticle 14 and the Prevention of Discrimination in the European Convention on Human Rights’ [1997] EHRLR 25, 32.

23 Fredman, S, above n 15, 76–82. Intensity of scrutiny or level of deference tests are unlikely to be relevant (or as relevant) in a jurisdiction which relies upon Fredman’s second ‘fixed category’ approach.

24 Wintemute, R, above n 14, 491.

25 Ibid, 491–2.

26 Ibid, 492. Given that the intensity of review may be affected by factors such as the subject-matter of the case, including in particular whether a national or EC measure is under review, the phrase ‘case-by-case’ may be inexact (see further section III). It is quoted here since it assists in highlighting the differences between the EU and European Convention approaches.

27 Series A no 5 (1968), 1 EHRR 252, para I.B.10.

28 Wintemute, R, above n 14, 492.

29 Acknowledged by Fredman, S, above n 15, 76.

30 See, generally, Ellis, E EU Anti-Discrimination Law (Oxford, OUP, 2005) 1220 .

31 Council Directive No 75/117 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the application of the principle of equal pay for men and women, OJ 1975 L 45/19 (see, as from August 2008 and 2009, Council Directive No 2006/54/EC on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation, OJ 2006 L 204/23 (the ‘Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment Directive’)); for analysis see Ellis, E, above n 30, 187-207.

32 Council Directive No 76/207/EC (as amended) on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions, OJ 1976 L 39/40; see, as from August 2008 and 2009, the Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment Directive, above n 31.

33 Council Directive No 2000/43/EC implementing the principle of equal treatment of persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, OJ 2000 L 180/22.

34 Council Directive No 2000/78/EC establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, OJ 2000 L 303/16.

35 For analysis of the social and economic rationales for prohibiting different grounds see Bell, M Anti-Discrimination Law and the European Union (Oxford, OUP, 2002); Ellis, E, above n 30, 7–12; Barnard, C EC Employment Law 3rd edn (Oxford, OUP, 2006) ch 1.

36 Note also the provisions contained in Chapter III of the Charter of Fundamental Rights: for discussion of the possible legal effects of which see Craig, P EU Administrative Law (Oxford, OUP, 2006) 494523 , 537–9; Arnull, A, Dashwood, A, Dougan, M, Ross, M, Spaventa, E and Wyatt, D Wyatt and Dashwood’s European Union Law 5th edn (London, Sweet & Maxwell, 2006) 299303 .

37 In the context of agriculture see Cases 117/76 and 16/77, Ruckdeschel v Hauptzollamt Hamburg-St Annen [1977] ECR 1753, para 7 and Case 8/78, Milac GmbH v Hauptzollamt Freiburg [1978] ECR 1721, para 18. See, generally, Barnard, C, above n 35, 314–20.

38 Case C–13/94, P v S and Cornwall County Council [1996] ECR I–2143, paras 18–21; more expansive than the judgment was the Opinion of AG Tesauro. For analysis of the principle as set out in P v S, compare Barnard, C P v S: Kite Flying or a New Constitutional Approach?’, ch IV of Dashwood, A and O’Leary, S (eds) The Principle of Equal Treatment in EC Law (London, Sweet & Maxwell, 1997) with de Búrca, G ‘The Role of Equality in European Community Law’, ch II of ibid. See also Ellis, E, above n 30, 335–44, Case C-144/04, Mangold v Helm [2005] ECR I-9981, paras 74–7.

39 For analysis of the Court of Justice’s expansiveness in relation to sex discrimination see Ellis, E, above n 30, 24–8.

40 See Case C–249/96, Grant v South-West Trains Ltd [1998] ECR I–621; Cases C–122 and 125/99 D and Sweden v Council [2001] ECR I–4319.

41 For general analysis see Ellis, E, above n 30, ch 5; Bell, M, above n 35, 112–8, 128–43.

42 Equal Treatment Directive, Art 3(1); Racial Discrimination Directive, Art 3(1)(a) to (d); Framework Directive, Art 3(1); Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment Directive, Arts 1, 4, 5 and 14.

43 Racial Discrimination Directive, Art 3, sections 1(e) to (h).

44 Framework Directive, Art 3, section 3. The Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment Directive (see especially Arts 5 to 9) applies to occupational social security schemes.

45 Note also the variations designed to cater for different grounds of discrimination: Equal Treatment Directive, Art 2, section 7 (pregnancy and maternity); Framework Directive, Arts 5 (reasonable accommodation for disabled persons) and 6 (age); for discussion see Ellis, E, above n 30, 283–9, 292–6.

46 See further Ellis, E, above n 30, 111–13; Barnard, C, above n 35, 321–3. In relation to age see Framework Directive, Arts 6 and 25, Case C–144/04, Mangold v Helm [2005] ECR I–9981, paras 55–65.

47 Equal Treatment Directive, Art 2, section 2; Racial Discrimination Directive, Art 2, section 2(a); Framework Directive, Art 2, section 2(a); Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment Directive, Art 2, section 2(1)(a).

48 Although genuine occupational requirements do provide a defence: see, eg, Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment Directive, Art 14, section 2.

49 Equal Treatment Directive, Art 2, section 2; Racial Discrimination Directive, Art 2, section 2(b); Framework Directive, Art 2, section 2(b)(i); Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment Directive, Art 2, section 2(1)(b).

50 Craig, P, above n 36, 655–8, 6702; note, however, that this is also a label which Craig deploys in relation to proportionality review in domestic law: see his Administrative Law 5th edn (London, Sweet & Maxwell, 2003) 622–3. See also, on the distinction between ‘two-pronged’ and ‘three-pronged’ proportionality, van Gerven, WThe Effect of Proportionality on the Actions of Member States of the European Community: National Viewpoints from Continental Europe’ in Ellis, E (ed) The Principle of Proportionality in the Laws of Europe (Oxford, Hart, 1999) 3742 ; cf Tridimas, T ‘Proportionality in Community Law: Searching for the Appropriate Standard of Scrutiny’ in ibid, 68-9.

51 See, generally, Tridimas, T The General Principles of EU Law 2nd edn (Oxford, OUP, 2006) chs 3–5.

52 de Búrca, GThe Principle of Proportionality and its Application in EC Law’ (1993) 13 YEL 105 , 105–6.

53 Ibid, 111.

54 Ibid, 111.

55 P Craig, above n 36, chs 17 and 18. See also FG Jacobs ‘Recent Developments in the Principle of Proportionality in European Community Law’ in E Ellis (ed), above n 50.

56 Craig, P, above n 36, 658–72; see also de Búrca, G, above n 52, 115–26.

57 Craig, P, above n 36, 672–81.

58 Ibid, 681–5.

59 Ibid, 687–94; see also de Búrca, G, above n 52, 126–45.

60 Ibid, 127.

61 Case C–331/88, R. v Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Secretary of State for Health, ex parte Fedesa [1990] ECR I–4012, paras 15–17.

62 de Búrca, G, above n 52, 113. For a useful, more recent survey see Tridimas, T, above n 50.

63 Case 5/88, Wachauf v Germany [1989] ECR 2609, discussed in de Búrca, G, above n 52, 123–6; see 147–8 for a more general analysis of circumstances in which the Court is prepared to be deferential. In relation to social and employment policy see Case C–317/93, Nolte v Landesversicherungsanstalt [1995] ECR I–4625, para 33 and Case C–167/97, R. v Secretary of State for Employment, ex parte Seymour-Smith [1999] ECR I–623, paras 73–75.

64 See, generally, Ellis, E ‘The Concept of Proportionality in European Community Sex Discrimination Law’, in Ellis, E (ed), above n 50.

65 Craig, P, above n 36, 547–9.

66 Ibid, 604–5; see also Barnard, C The Substantive Law of the EU: The Four Freedoms (Oxford, OUP, 2004) 7882 , 112–17.

67 Craig, P, above n 36, 585, 604–5.

68 Ibid, 605, 695–701.

69 See, eg, Case 170/84, Bilka-Kaufhaus v Weber von Hartz [1986] ECR 1607, para 36; Case 171/88, Rinner-Kühn v FWW Spezial-Gebäudereinigung GmbH [1989] ECR 2743; Case 184/89, Nimz v Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg [1991] ECR 297; Case C–167/97, R. v Secretary of State for Employment, ex parte Seymour-Smith [1999] ECR I–623, para 77; Case C–381/99, Brunnhofer v Bank der Österreichischen Postsparkasse AG [2001] ECR I–4961, paras 67–68; Case C–256/01, Allonby v Accrington and Rossendale College [2004] ECR I–873.

70 Ellis, E, above n 30, 109–10.

71 Barnard, C, above n 35, 368: on this view, the ‘strict’ approach, based on Case 170/84, Bilka-Kaufhaus [1986] ECR 1607, was used in Case C–243/95, Hill and Stapleton v Revenue Commissioners [1998] ECR I–3739, the ‘weaker’ test in Case C–167/97, R. v Secretary of State for Employment, ex parte Seymour-Smith [1999] ECR I–623, and the ‘very dilute’ test in Case C–317/93, Nolte v Landesversicherungsanstalt Hannover [1996] ECR I–4625.

72 Case 222/84, Johnston v Chief Constable of the RUC [1986] ECR 1651, para 38.

73 Ibid, para 36.

74 Ellis, E, above n 64, 175–81.

75 Case C–189/91, [1993] ECR I–6185.

76 Series A no 5 (1968), 1 EHRR 252, para I.B.10.

77 Ibid; see also para II.A.7. See, more generally, McBride, J ‘Proportionality and the European Convention on Human Rights’, in Ellis, E (ed), above n 50.

78 Handyside v United Kingdom Series A No 24, (1976) 1 EHRR 737, para 48.

79 Wintemute, R, above n 14, 92–3; see also R. v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, ex parte Carson [2005] UKHL 37, para 58 (Lord Walker). For earlier analysis see Livingstone, SArticle 14 and the Prevention of Discrimination in the European Convention on Human Rights’ [1997] EHRLR 25, 32-3. For an apparently differing view of Art 14 see Fredman, SWhy the UK Government should Sign and Rectify Protocol 12’ (2002) 105 Equal Opportunities Review 21 , 24 (heading 2).

80 On sex see: Abdulaziz, Cabales and Balkandali v United Kingdom Series A No 94, (1985) 7 EHRR 471, para 78; Schmidt v Germany (1994) 18 EHRR 513, para 24; Van Raalte v Netherlands (1997) 24 EHRR 503, paras 39, 42–44. On illegitimacy see Inze v Austria (1987) 10 EHRR 394, para 41. On nationality see Gaygusuz v Austria (1997) 23 EHRR 364, para 42. On sexual orientation see Karner v Austria (2003) 38 EHRR 24, para 41 (by contrast with Salgueiro da Silva Mouta v Portugal (2001) 31 EHRR 1055, para 36).

81 Sander v United Kingdom (2000) 31 EHRR 44, para 23.

82 Jersild v Denmark (1994) 19 EHRR 1, para 30.

83 See Dudgeon v United Kingdom (1982) 4 EHRR 149, paras 51–53; Smith and Grady v United Kingdom (1999) 29 EHRR 493, paras 89, 90, 94, 105–110; Lustig-Prean and Beckett v United Kingdom (1999) 29 EHRR 548, paras 80–83, 87; L and V v Austria (2003) 36 EHRR 55, para 45. See also Van Kuck v Germany (2003) 37 EHRR 51, para 72 (gender identity).

84 See Karner v Austria (2003) 38 EHRR 24, Note also that Hoffmann v Austria (1993) 17 EHRR 293, paras 33 and 36 does not appear, despite Wintemute’s argument to the contrary, to assert the need for ‘particularly serious’ reasons in relation to discrimination on the basis of religion.

85 See also, for criticism of other related aspects of the Art 14 case law, Baker, AComparison Tainted by Justification: Against A “Compendious Question” In Article 14 Discrimination’ [2006] PL 476, 488-93.

86 See, eg, Inze v Austria (1987) 10 EHRR 394, paras 41–44; Gaygusuz v Austria (1997) 23 EHRR 364, paras 42–52; Van Raalte v Netherlands (1997) 24 EHRR 503, paras 39–45.

87 See, eg, Dudgeon v United Kingdom (1982) 4 EHRR 149; Norris v Ireland (1991) 13 EHRR 186.

88 Smith and Grady v United Kingdom (1999) 29 EHRR 493; Lustig-Prean and Beckett v United Kingdom (1999) 29 EHRR 548.

89 Fully spelt out in Dudgeon v United Kingdom: ‘not only the nature of the aim of the restriction but also the nature of the activities involved will affect the scope of the margin of appreciation. The present case concerns a most intimate aspect of private life. Accordingly, there must exist particularly serious reasons before interferences on the part of the public authorities can be legitimate for the purposes of paragraph 2 of Article 8’: (1982) 4 EHRR 149, para 52.

90 A.D.T. v United Kingdom (2001) 31 EHRR 33, para 38; see also Dudgeon v United Kingdom (1982) 4 EHRR 149, para 52 and Smith and Grady v United Kingdom (1999) 29 EHRR 493, above n 88, para 89, in which the existence of a narrow ‘margin’ is tied to the need for ‘particularly serious reasons’.

91 Da Silva Mouta v Portugal (2001) 31 EHRR 1055, paras 29–36.

92 (2003) 38 EHRR 24, para 37.

93 Ibid, para 41.

94 (2002) 38 EHRR 21, para 35.

95 Ibid, para 41. On the facts, this clearly involved a difference of treatment based upon sexual orientation: see paras 32–33.

96 Ibid, paras 41–42.

97 See the discussion in Wintemute, R, above n 14, 495.

98 See, eg, Arts 8(2), 9(2), 10(2) and 11(2).

99 (2000) 31 EHRR 15. For practical examples, see Hoogendijk v The Netherlands (2005) 40 EHRR SE22; DH and others v Czech Republic (2006) 43 EHRR 41.

100 See Monaghan, KLimitations and Opportunities: A Review of the Likely Domestic Impact of Article 14 ECHR’ [2001] EHRLR 167 , 174, invoking the Belgian Linguistic Case (No. 2) (1968) 1 EHRR 252.

101 Ellis, E, above n 30, 112 fn 123.

102 Ibid, para 44. For earlier argument to the effect that indirect discrimination falls within the ambit of Art 14 see Livingstone, SArticle 14 and the Prevention of Discrimination in the European Convention on Human Rights’ [1997] EHRLR 25 , 31.

103 Ibid, para 47, emphasis added.

104 Ibid, para 47.

105 Ibid, para 48.

106 For further discussion of the extension involved see Wildhaber, LProtection against Discrimination under the European Convention on Human Rights: A Second-Class Guarantee?’ (2002) 2 Baltic Yearbook of International Law 71, 81; Wintemute, R“Within the Ambit”: How Big Is the “Gap” in Article 14 ECHR?’ [2004] EHRLR 366, 377-8; Wintermute, R, above n 14, 496–9; Baker, AThe Enjoyment of Rights and Freedoms: A New Conception of the “Ambit” under Article 14 ECHR’ (2006) 69 MLR 714 , 723–5.

107 For discussion of the present position see Clayton, R and Tomlinson, H The Law of Human Rights (Oxford, OUP, 2000) paras 17.86 to 17.88. For treatment of this point in domestic law see R. v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, ex p. Carson [2005] UKHL 37, paras 29 and 51 (Lord Walker).

108 See Wildhaber, L, above n 106, 73 (access to employment); Livingstone, S ‘Article 14 and the Prevention of Discrimination in the European Convention on Human Rights’ [1997] EHRLR 25, 26 (provision of employment).

109 Smith and Grady v United Kingdom (1999) 29 EHRR 493; Lustig-Preen and Beckett v United Kingdom (1999) 29 EHRR 548.

110 ‘“Within the Ambit”‘, above n 106, 369–78; Wintemute relies for authority on Thlimmenos v Greece (2000) 31 EHRR 15, paras 41–42.

111 For an obvious Art 8 case at national level involving only private parties see Ghaidan v Godin-Mendoza [2004] UKHL 30, [2004] 2 AC 557. Compare, in relation to the Court of Justice’s position, Mangold v Helm [2005] ECR I–9981, esp. paras 75–78.

112 Wildhaber, LProtection against Discrimination under the European Convention on Human Rights—A Second-Class Guarantee?’ (2002) 2 Baltic Yearbook of International Law 71, 78. See, as examples, Abdulaziz, Cabales and Balkandali v United Kingdom (1985) 7 EHRR 471; Pine Valley Developments v Ireland (1991) 14 EHRR 319; and Schuler-Zgraggen v Switzerland (1993) 16 EHRR 405.

113 Wildhaber, L, above n 112, 78. Prominent examples include: Airey v Ireland (1979) 2 EHRR 305; Dudgeon v United Kingdom (1981) 4 EHRR 149, paras 67–70; X and Y v Netherlands (1985) 8 EHRR 235; Johnston v Ireland (1986) 9 EHRR 203; Smith and Grady v United Kingdom (1999) 29 EHRR 493, paras 115–116; Lustig-Prean and Beckett v United Kingdom (1999) 29 EHRR 548, paras 108–109; and A.D.T. v United Kingdom (2001) 31 EHRR 33, para 41.

114 Wildhaber, L, above n 112, 79; see also 76–7. For examples see Marckx v Belgium (1979) 2 EHRR 330; Canea Catholic Church v Greece (1997) 27 EHRR 521; Chassagnou v France (2000) 29 EHRR 615.

115 Wildhaber, L, above n 112, 79; see also 77. See, as examples, Inze v Austria (1987) 10 EHRR 394; Hoffmann v Austria (1993) 17 EHRR 293; Gaygusuz v Austria (1996) 23 EHRR 365.

116 (1999) 29 EHRR 493.

117 For attempts to challenge unfavourable treatment on the basis of sexual orientation before the European Court of Justice as an example of sex discrimination see Case C–249/96, Grant v South West Trains Ltd [1998] ECR I–621 and Cases C–122P and 125/99P, D. v Council [2001] ECR I–4319; see section V below for the present position.

118 Ghaidan v Godin-Mendoza [2004] UKHL 30; [2004] 2 AC 557. The words ‘most contexts’ make allowance for the declaration of incompatibility procedure established under s 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998, and also for the House of Lords’ interpretation of Art 8 in Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v M [2006] UKHL 11; [2006] 2 AC 91 (for criticism of which, see Wintemute, RSame-Sex Couples in Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v M.: Identical to Karner and Godin-Mendoza, Yet No Discrimination?’ [2006] EHRLR 722 ; Bamforth, N“The benefits of marriage in all but name”? Same-sex Couples and the Civil Partnership Act 2004’ (2007) 19 Child and Family Law Quarterly 133 ).

119 Opinion 2/94 [1996] ECR I–1759; for critical analysis see Weiler, JHH and Fries, SCA Human Rights Policy for the European Community and Union: The Question of Competences’, ch 5 in Alston, P (ed) The EU and Human Rights (Oxford, OUP, 1999). See also Toner, H Partnershiup Rights, Free Movement and EU Law (Oxford, Hart, 2004), ch 4.

120 Ibid; Case C–84/95, Bosphorus v Hava Yollari [1996] ECR I–3953; for an illustration of the limits to this principle see Case C–299/95, Kremzow v Austria [1997] ECR I–2629 and Barnard, C, above n 66, 66–71.

121 See, generally, Craig, P and de Búrca, G EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials 4th edn (Oxford, OUP, 2008), 418-27; Arnull, P, et al. above n 36, 278–82; Spielmann, D ‘Human Rights Case Law in the Strasbourg and Luxembourg Courts: Conflicts, Inconsistencies, and Complementarities’, ch 23 in Alston, P (ed), above n 119, Douglas-Scott, , ‘A Tale of Two Courts: Luxembourg, Stravbourg, and the Growing European Human Rights Acquis ’ (2006) 43 CMLRev 629 .

122 Case C–249/96, [1998] ECR I–621.

123 (2000) 29 EHRR 493.

124 See Bamforth, NSexual Orientation Discrimination after Grant v South-West Trains ’ (2000) 63 MLR 694 , 714–9. The overlapping jurisdiction issue caused particular problems, at national level, in Perkins, a case with very similar facts to Smith but in which the litigants proposed, until the decision in Grant, to argue using the Community law route: R. v Secretary of State for Defence, ex parte Perkins [1997] IRLR 297; R. v Secretary of State for Defence, ex parte Perkins (No. 2) [1998] IRLR 508.

125 For a thorough survey see Spielmann, D, above n 121, 762–76.

126 Ibid, 761–2.

127 Opinion 2/94 [1996] ECR I–1759. See further the discussion in section VII.

128 Craig, P, above n 36, 678–80.

129 A more dramatic but parallel debate has been taking place in UK domestic law, in relation to whether proportionality and domestic level unreasonableness review differ in terms of intensity or as a matter of type: compare Elliott, MThe Human Rights Act 1998 and the Standard of Substantive Review’ (2001) 60 CLJ 301 ; Taggart, M ‘Reinventing Administrative Law’, ch 12 in Bamforth, N and Leyland, P (eds), above n 10.

130 See, generally, Craig, PFormal and Substantive Conceptions of the Rule of Law’ [1997] PL 467 .

131 Feldman, D Civil Liberties and Human Rights in England and Wales 2nd edn (Oxford, OUP, 2002), 146 ; see also Fredman, SWhy the UK Government should Sign and Rectify Protocol 12’ (2002) 105 Equal Opportunities Review 21 , 24: coverage of anti-discrimination law ‘is jagged and unsystematic’.

132 [1995] 1 AC 1, 25–7 (Lord Keith). The first ‘disapplication’ case at national level was R. v Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte Factortame (No 2) [1991] 1 AC 603 (the House of Lords’ response to the Court of Justice’s decision in Case C–213/89, R. v Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte Factortame [1990] ECR I–2433; compare the House of Lords’ earlier treatment of the case in R. v Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte Factortame [1990] 2 AC 85).

133 For general analysis see Ghaidan v Godin-Mendoza [2004] UKHL 30, [2004] 2 AC 557. Compare also: Nicol, DStatutory Interpretation and Human Rights after Anderson ’ [2004] PL 274 ; Kavanagh, AStatutory Interpretation and Human Rights after Anderson: a More Contextual Approach’ [2004] PL 537 and ‘Unlocking the Human Rights Act: The “Radical” Approach to Section 3(1) Revisited’ [2005] EHRLR 259.

134 Above n 36, 532.

135 [2004] UKHL 39, [2004] 1 WLR 2196, para 48 (Lord Steyn).

136 Carson [2005] UKHL 37, paras 13 (Lord Hoffmann), 53–54 (Lord Walker).

137 (1976) 1 EHRR 711, para 56, applied in LS [2004] UKHL 39, [2004] 1 WLR 2196, para 48 (Lord Steyn) and Carson [2005] UKHL 37, paras 13 (Lord Hoffmann), 52–54 (Lord Walker).

138 Ibid, para 13 (Lord Hoffmann).

139 Ibid.

140 [1995] 1 AC 1, 29.

141 Ibid.

142 [2004] UKHL 30, [2004] 2 AC 557, para 9. The other Law Lords agreed with Lord Nicholls and Baroness Hale concerning Art 14: see paras 37 (Lord Steyn), 55 (Lord Millett), and 103, 127 and 128 (Lord Rodger).

143 Ibid, para 16; see also Baroness Hale at para 138.

144 Ibid, para 36.

145 Ibid, para 143.

146 Ibid.

147 Ibid, citing Dudgeon v United Kingdom (1982) 4 EHRR 149.

148 [2005] UKHL 37, paras 15–17 (Lord Hoffmann), 55, 57–58, 89 (Lord Walker). Lords Nicholls, Rodger and Carswell (ibid, paras 1, 42 and 92) agreed with both judgments. Lord Hoffmann suggested that discrimination on a sensitive ground could not be justified merely by appeal to a ‘utilitarian’ value such as the general public interest (para 16), while Lord Walker—echoing the Strasbourg Court—asserted that ‘very weighty reasons’ would be needed. Lord Walker describes the sensitive grounds, by analogy with US 14th Amendment jurisprudence, as ‘suspect categories’ (para 58), although his assertion (para 55) that sexual orientation constitutes such a category in US law is, with respect, an over-simplification.

149 Carson [2005] UKHL 37, para 15. For general analysis of the variable intensity of proportionality see Rivers, JProportionality and the Variable Intensity of Review’ (2006) 65 CLJ 174 .

150 Carson [2005] UKHL 37, para 17.

151 Ibid, para 16.

152 Ibid, para 16.

153 Ibid, para 16.

154 Ibid, para 17.

155 Ibid, para 52.

156 Ibid, para 55.

157 Ibid, para 55.

158 Ibid, para 55.

159 Ibid, para 60; see also paras 58–59.

160 For general discussion of equal protection see Yosino, KAssimilationist Bias in Equal Protection: The Visibility Presumption and the Case of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”’ (1998-9) 108 Yale LJ 485 . For the US Supreme Court’s use of distinctive ‘animus’ reasoning in relation to sexual orientation see Romer v Evans (1996) 547 US 620. For argument that sexual orientation should be recognised as a suspect class see Bamforth, N and Richards, DAJ Patriarchal Religion, Sexuality and Gender: A Critique of New Natural Law (New York, CUP, 2008) ch 6.

161 [2000] 2 AC 326, 380–1.

162 See Steyn, JDeference: A Tangled Story’ [2005] PL 346 ; Hunt, MSovereignty’s Blight: Why Contemporary Public Law Needs the Concept of “Due Deference”’, ch 13 of Bamforth, N and Leyland, P (eds), Public Law in a Multi-Layered Constitution (Oxford, Hart, 2003).

163 Ghaidan [2004] UKHL 30, [2004] 2 AC 557, para 19 Compare Lord Walker’s treatment of ‘macro-economic policy’ in Carson [2005] UKHL 37, para 80.

164 Case C–32/93, [1994] ECR I–3567.

165 Carson [2005] UKHL 37, paras 6–70, at paras 77 (Lord Walker), 97–98 (Lord Carswell); see also paras 2–3 (Lord Nicholls), 28–33 (Lord Hoffmann). These comments were made as part of their dismissal of the contentious ‘Michalak criteria’, articulated in Wandsworth LBC v Michalak [2003] 1 WLR 617, but progressively called into question in later cases: see Nasser v United Bank of Kuwait [2002] 1 WLR 1868, para 56 (Mance LJ), Shamoon v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary [2003] ICR 337, para 8 (Lord Nicholls); Ghaidan v Godin-Mendoza [2004] UKHL 30, [2004] 2 AC 557, para 134 (Baroness Hale); R.(LS) v Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire Police [2004] UKHL 39, [2004] 1 WLR 2196, para 43 (Lord Steyn).

166 Carson [2005] UKHL 37, para 68.

167 Ibid, para 97. Note also Lord Carswell’s observations in R.(LS) v Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire Police [2004] UKHL 39, [2004] 1 WLR 2196,, paras 80–83, about the differences between direct and indirect discrimination cases in relation to comparators.

168 Carson [2005] UKHL 37, para 97.

169 Note, however, Aaron Baker’s criticism of Carson for failing to separate the question of comparability from proportionality review: above n 85.

170 [2004] UKHL 21; [2005] 1 AC 51.

171 Ibid, para 33.

172 Case C–13/94, [1996] ECR I–2143; see also Case C–117/01, K.B. v National Health Services Pensions Agency [2004] ECR I–541 (equal pay).

173 See Lord Rodger in A (No 2) [2004] UKHL 21; [2005] 1 AC 51, at para 17.

174 Namely Rees v United Kingdom (1986) 9 EHRR 56; Cossey v United Kingdom (1990) 13 EHRR 622; and Sheffield and Horsham v United Kingdom (1998) 27 EHRR 163.

175 [2002] 35 EHRR 447.

176 [2003] UKHL 21, [2003] 2 AC 467.

177 [2002] EWCA Civ 1584; [2003] ICR 161; note also Baroness Hale’s summary in the House of Lords: ibid, para 46.

178 See Baroness Hale’s summary (A (No 2) [2004] UKHL 21; [2005] 1 AC 51, para 47).

179 Lord Rodger arrived at the same conclusion but using slightly different reasoning and without mentioning the Convention; Lord Steyn and Lord Carswell agreed with Lord Bingham and Baroness Hale.

180 A (No 2) [2004] UKHL 21; [2005] 1 AC 51, para 12.

181 Ibid, para 41.

182 Lord Bingham, ibid, para 13 (note also his observation that the House had adopted the same characterisation of Goodwin in Bellinger, para 24); Baroness Hale, A (No 2) [2004] UKHL 21; [2005] 1 AC 51, paras 41 and 53.

183 Ibid, para 53.

184 Ibid, para 50; see also para 63.

185 Ibid, paras 10–11, 13 (Lord Bingham), 55–59, 63 (Baroness Hale).

186 Ibid, para 13.

187 Ibid, para 54.

188 See the Discrimination Law Review, A Framework for Fairness: Proposals for a Single Equality Bill for Great Britain: A Consultation Paper (London, Department for Communities and Local Government, June 2007) 11–12, 27–8.

189 Equality Act 2006, Pt I and Scheds 1 and 2.

190 Equality Act 2006, Pts 2–4.

191 Hepple, B, Coussey, M and Choudhury, T Equality: A New Framework: Report of the Independent Review of the Enforcement of UK Anti-Discrimination Legislation (Oxford, Hart, 2000) p xiv ; see also at 25, Recommendation 1; p xvii (Recommendations 1 and 2); p xviii (Recommendation 14);

192 Note also ibid, Recommendation 8 (p xviii) and paras 2.41–2.42 concerning the anticipated purposes of the legislation.

193 The Equalities Review, Fairness and Freedom: The Final Report of the Equalities Review (2007) 115; see also Hepple, B, Coussey, M and Choudhury, T, above n 191, paras 2.3–2.7. For details of the Equalities Review see its website at http://www.theequalitiesreview.org.uk.

195 Discrimination Law Review, above n 188, 62.

196 Hepple, B, Coussey, M and Choudhury, T, above n 191, para 2.9.

197 For predictability as a feature of formal accounts of the rule of law see Craig, P, above n 130.

198 It is not entirely clear whether this difficulty would be eliminated if Protocol 12 to the Convention were ratified by all Member States as well as the EU joining the Convention.

199 Above n 36, 531.

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