On 20 April a hearing took place at the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights on the case of Khamtokhu and Aksenchik v Russia in which the Court will decide whether two men convicted of crimes in Russia have been victims of gender and age discrimination, due to legislation which allows life sentences to be given only to men between the ages of 18 and 65. The Equal Rights Trust was granted permission to intervene in the case, and submitted an amicus curie (found below) on the alleged violation of the non-discrimination article (Article 14) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Equal Rights Trust presented an analysis of the discrimination issue, from which it can be concluded that Article 14 has been violated. Stereotypes about gender and age cannot justify blanket differential treatment, are discriminatory and perpetuate inequality. The brief defends the view that an individualised and nuanced approach to sentencing is necessary in order to ensure the right to equality, as opposed to blanket gender of age exemptions.