News

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, 13 July 2009 

On 10 July 2009, The Equal Rights Trust (ERT) submitted written comments to Vitalie Pârlog, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova on the Draft Law on Preventing and Combating Discrimination. The Draft Law aims to ensure the enjoyment by all persons in the territory of Moldova to equal rights and equal treatment in political, economic, social and other spheres of life. 

London, 10 July 2009 

Today, The Equal Rights Trust published Volume Three of The Equal Rights Review (ERR), an interdisciplinary biannual journal intended as a forum for the exchange of legal, philosophical, sociological and other ideas and practical insights for those who are promoting equality. This volume also contains a special section on the issue of Stateless persons in detention.   The volume is available in print as well as online.

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.

The Equal Rights Trust – the only international human rights organisation focussed solely on the right to equality – has marked the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots by calling on LGBT rights advocates to endorse the unified concept of equality, as expressed in the Declaration of Principles on Equality. Speaking on the eve of the anniversary, Dimitrina Petrova, Executive Director of ERT, said that in countries where LGBT people suffer institutional discrimination, reliance on the integrated concept of equality could point a way forward.

London, 25 June 2009

On 17 June 2009 the Czech Republic adopted anti-discrimination legislation which guarantees the right to equal treatment and bans discrimination in areas including access to employment, business, education, healthcare and social security on the grounds of sex, age, disability, race, ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation, religious affiliation and faith or worldview. The passing of the Anti-Discrimination Act by the Czech Chamber of Deputies was a necessary step to avoid legal proceedings by the European Commission for failing to implement the obligations contained in the EU Race Equality Directive (Council Directive 2000/43/EC) and the Employment Equality Directive (Council Directive 2000/78/EC).

London, 22 June 2009

On 9 June 2009, the European Court of Human Rights handed down the decision in the case of Opuz v. Turkey (Application no. 33401/02). In its judgment, the Court found that Turkey violated Article 2, Article 3 and Article 14 in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

In the United Kingdom, a Parliamentary Public Bill Committee has begun the process of scrutinizing the Equality Bill which was published on 24 April 2009. The Equality Bill seeks to simplify the law which, over the last four decades, has become complex and difficult to navigate, by replacing nine different acts and 100 other measures in a single act. 

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (the Committee) adopted General Comment No. 20 on Non-Discrimination in Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at its 42nd session, which took place from 4 – 22 May 2009. The General Comment is the Committee’s interpretation of Article 2(2) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Article 2(2) states:

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