London, 4 October 2012

In the latest case to add to a line of jurisprudence on police failures to investigate discriminatory abuse suffered by Roma communities, on 20 September 2012 the Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) delivered its judgment in the case of Fedorchenko and Lozenko v Ukraine. The case had been brought by two members of a Romani family whose house had been set on fire in an arson attack in 2001, killing five family members. 

London, 5 July 2012

On 26 June 2012, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) delivered its judgment in the case of Kurić and others v Slovenia. The case had been brought by eight of the roughly 18,000 people who had been left stateless after Slovenia “erased” their names from the civil registry following their failure to claim citizenship in the months after the country’s declaration of independence on 25 June 1991. The Court found that Slovenia had violated Article 8 and Articles 13 and 14 taken in conjunction with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention). In respect to Article 14, the Grand Chamber approach departed from the Chamber approach of 2009.

London, 18 May 2012

In two separate recent judgments, Brazil's Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of two higher education affirmative action programmes. The first case (Racial Quotas Case) concerned the use of racial quotas for black, mixed-race and indigenous students in university admissions. The second case (Pro Uni Case) concerned the provision of scholarships to disadvantaged students in private universities. Although Afro-Brazilians make up over 60% of students in primary and secondary education, they are under-represented in higher education, where they make up less than 40% of the student population.

London, 5 April 2012 
On 22 March 2012, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) delivered its judgment in the case of Konstantin Markin v Russia. The case concerned a Russian military serviceman who had been denied parental leave, unlike his female counterparts. The Court found that Russia had violated Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention).
London, 3 April 2012 
On March 21, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights published its landmark judgment in Atala Riffo and daughters v Chile. In its first case concerning discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, the Court established that both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are grounds falling within the protection against discrimination enshrined in Article 1 of the American Convention of Human Rights (the Convention). 

London, 21 February 2012 

On 7 February 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit delivered its judgment in Perry v Brown. The case concerned California’s adoption of Proposition 8, which amended the State’s constitution to prevent the Californian state from recognising the union of same-sex couples with the designation “marriage”. The Court found that Proposition 8 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution.

On 20 January 2012, a jury in Britain’s Derby Crown Court delivered a guilty verdict to three out of five men charged with the offence of stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation. The defendants Ihjaz Ali, Kabir Ahmed, Razwan Javed, Mehboob Hussain, and Umar Javed were charged under Section 29C of the Public Order Act 1986. Three of the accused - Ihjaz Ali, Kabir Ahmed and Razwan Javed – were found guilty. The other two accused persons, Mahboob Hassain and Umer Javed, were both found not guilty.

London, 17 January 2012

On 11 January 2012, the United States Supreme Court delivered its judgment in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Et Al. The case concerned the dismissal of Cheryl Perich, who had been employed as a teacher by Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission brought an employment discrimination suit against Hosanna-Tabor under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Hosanna-Tabor argued that the suit was barred by the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment to the US Constitution (the Religion Clauses).

London, 21 November 2011

On 7 November 2011, the European Committee of Social Rights (the Committee) published its decision in the case of European Roma Rights Centre v Portugal (Complaint No. 61/2010). In response to a complaint against the Government of Portugal submitted by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) in April 2010, the Committee found that the conditions in which the Roma community of Portugal is living and the failure of the Government to do enough to improve their situation represented a violation of Article E (Non-discrimination) of the Revised European Social Charter (Revised Charter) in conjunction with each of Articles 16 (right of the family to social, legal and economic protection), 30 (right to protection against poverty and social exclusion) and 31(1) (right to adequate housing).

London, 12 October 2011  

On 28 September 2011, the Federal Court of Australia issued its judgment in Eatock v Bolt [2011] FCA 1103, a case brought under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 against the author and publisher of allegedly offensive newspaper articles.