London, 20 July 2009

On 2 July 2009, the Constitutional Court of Slovenia held that Article 22 of the Registration of Same Sex Partnerships Act (RSSPA) violated the right to non-discrimination under Article 14 of the Constitution on the ground of sexual orientation. The decision was handed down in the case of Blazic and Kern v. Slovenia U-I-425/06-10. The applicants challenged Article 22, which sets out the inheritance regulations for same sex partnerships, on the basis that it regulated inheritance for same sex partners differently, and less favourably, than the Inheritance Act regulated inheritance for opposite sex partners.

London, 3 July 2009 

In a ruling handed down by the UK Employment Appeals Tribunal (McAvoy, Llewellyn and others v. South Tyneside BC, Hartlepool BC, and Middlesbrough BC), on the 24 June 2009, a group of male employees successfully brought an equal pay claim against their employers – three Borough Councils in North-East England – who denied them the same settlements as their female co-workers following the successful claims of their female co-workers’ to equal pay.

London, 2 July 2009

The Delhi High Court, in its landmark decision decriminalising homosexuality,  relied on concepts developed in the Declaration of Principles on Equality, launched by the Equal Rights Trust (ERT) in 2008.  In its judgment, the court described the Declaration as representing ‘current international understanding of Principles on Equality’, and cited in full the Declaration’s definitions of the “right to equality”, “equal treatment” and “discrimination”, in ruling that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was unconstitutional.

27 Febuary 2009

On 27 February 2009, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation decided its first case concerning regulations and procedures for assessing legal capacity, one of the key issues affecting people with mental disabilities and their participation on an equal basis with others in exercising basic human rights.

On 18 February 2009, the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) handed down the judgment in the case of Andrejeva v. Latvia (Application no. 55707/00). The applicant, Ms. Natalija Andrejeva, claimed a violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No.1 (right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions) and Article 6 (right to fair trial).

London, 3 September 2008

On 18 August 2008, the Supreme Court of California, in the case of North Coast Women’s Care Medical Care Group, Inc., et al., v. San Diego County Superior Court, S 142892. Ct. App. 4/1 D045438, rejected the argument that the right to religious freedom and free speech, as guaranteed by both federal and state law, exempted a medical clinic’s physicians from complying with the prohibition against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation set out in the California Unruh Civil Rights Act (the Act).

London, 21 July 2008

On 17 July 2008, the European Court of Justice passed judgment in the case of Coleman v. Attridge Law and Steve Law (Case C-303/06).  The judgment interprets the meaning of the prohibition of direct discrimination and harassment in employment and occupation on grounds of disability pursuant to Article 2(2)(a) and Article 2(3) of Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000.

On 10 July 2008, the European Court of Justice handed down the judgment in the case of Centrum voor gelijkheid van kansen en voor racismebestrijding v. Firma Feryn NY (Case C-54/07). The judgment interprets the meaning of direct discrimination based on Article 2 (2) (a) of Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 relating to the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin. 

On 27 June 2008, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down the decision in the case of R v Kapp, 2008 SCC 41. The case arose as an appeal against the federal government’s decision to enhance aboriginal involvement in commercial fishery which led to the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy. 

London, 11 June 2008

On 4 June 2008, the Constitutional Court of South Africa handed down the decision in the case of Shilubana and Others v Nwamitwa (Case CCT 3/07). The case arose out of a succession dispute, following the death in 2001 of the chief of the Valoyi community in Limpopo.  The eldest son of the deceased chief disputed a decision that the Royal Family adopted in December 1996 to end male primogeniture and confer chieftainship to the eldest daughter of the deceased’s brother (and predecessor in title) of the then reigning chief.