News

London, 05 February 2015
 
On 21 January 2015, the High Court of Justice of England and Wales held that the conduct of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (the SSCLG) in relation to certain planning decisions amounted to indirect discrimination against Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers. The SSCLG had a policy of personally determining appeals by travellers to develop sites on certain areas of protected land which led to significant delays in the hearing of those appeals. The Court concluded that the SSCLG had failed to have any regard to the equality implications of this practice, failing to meet his Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). The significant delays also amounted to a violation of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

On 29 December 2014, the Russian government adopted Decree No. 1604 “On the list of medical contraindications, medical indications and medical restrictions to driving”. The decree potentially places restrictions on the ability of persons with specified medical conditions to obtain a driving licence. The Equal Rights Trust is concerned that this Decree discriminates on the basis of gender identity.
 
Decree No. 1604 was adopted in pursuance of Article 231 of the Federal Law “On Road Safety”, following its amendment in 2013.
London, 30 December 2014
 
On 18 December 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a preliminary ruling in a case of alleged discrimination on grounds of obesity, referred to it by a Danish court. Finding that no provisions of the EU Treaty nor of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU provided protection from discrimination on grounds of obesity as such, the Court nevertheless went on to clarify that prohibition of disability discrimination under EU Law might be relevant in some cases as some individuals with obesity might have a “disability” under EU Law.

London, 16 December 2014

On 2 December 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a preliminary ruling in the joined cases A, B, C v Staatssecretaris van Veiligheid en Justitie, providing guidance on the application of Article 4 of Directive 2004/83 in claims for asylum based on the sexual orientation of the applicants. The Court stated that Article 4 of the Directive, which sets out the conditions for the assessment of facts relating to an asylum claim, must be interpreted in compliance with the applicants’ rights to respect for human dignity and respect for family and private life (Articles 1 and 7 respectively of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union). Accordingly, the Court ruled, Article 4 precluded methods of assessment which are based only on stereotyped notions associated with homosexuals or include detailed questioning related to the sexual practices of the individual. The Court’s decision is to be welcomed, although the Equal Rights Trust is disappointed that the Court did not preclude all reliance on stereotypes in the assessment of asylum applications based on sexual orientation.

London, 12 December 2014

The Equal Rights Trust has today written to Prime Minister of Uganda, Ruhakana Rugunda, urging him and his government not to introduce the Bill on the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices to the Parliament of Uganda. The Equal Rights Trust’s letter analyses the Bill against Uganda’s international legal obligations and concludes that, if enacted, the Bill would constitute a clear and significant breach of the rights to freedom of expression and non-discrimination. The Bill would also increase and perpetuate the discrimination and gross inequality suffered by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons in Uganda today.

On Wednesday 10 December, Human Rights Day, the Equal Rights Trust launched Economic and Social Rights in the Courtroom: A Litigator's Guide to Using Equality and Non-Discrimination Strategies to Advance Economic and Social Rights, at Matrix Chambers in London with Sir Bob Hepple QC.  

On Wednesday 10 December 2014, Human Rights Day, the Equal Rights Trust will launch Economic and Social Rights in the Courtroom: A Litigator's Guide to Using Equality and Non-Discrimination Strategies to Advance Economic and Social Rights, at Matrix Chambers in London. 

On 7 November 2014, the Court of Appeal of Malaysia in Khamis and Ors v State Government of Negeri Sembilan and Ors held that a law prohibiting Muslim men from cross-dressing was unconstitutional and therefore void. The Equal Rights Trust, noting the importance of the case, prepared a legal brief for the Appellants’ counsel outlining the right to be free from discrimination on grounds of gender identity.

On Wednesday 10 December 2014, Human Rights Day, the Equal Rights Trust will launch Economic and Social Rights in the Courtroom: A Litigators’ Guide to Using Equality and Non-Discrimination Strategies to Advance Economic and Social Rights, at Matrix Chambers in London.

On 5 November 2014, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women issued General Recommendation No. 32 on the gender-related dimensions of refugee status, asylum, nationality and statelessness of women. The Recommendation highlights the significant impact of gender discrimination on women and girls, recognising that it can create a cycle of statelessness and lead women to flee their own countries to seek asylum. 

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