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The Enjoyment of Rights and Freedoms: A New Conception of the ‘Ambit’ under Article 14 ECHR

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Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, as applied by the UK judiciary under the Human Rights Act 1998, is in danger of becoming as ‘parasitic’ as it is often described. Judges have inappropriately narrowed the scope of the ‘ambit’ of other Convention articles, and thus limited the number of claims to which Article 14 can apply, by defining it according to considerations more properly weighed in a justification analysis incorporating proportionality. The emerging approach departs from Strasbourg jurisprudence, and fails to give full effect to the language and intent of Article 14. This trend need not continue. This article begins the process of fashioning a new conception of the ambit of Convention articles: one that could change the fortunes of Article 14 cases in the UK, but that flows naturally from the precedents of the European Court of Human Rights, and gives effect to the spirit of the HRA.

Keywords: Ambit; Article 14; Discrimination; European Convention on Human Rights; Human Rights Act 1998; Thlimmenos v Greece

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Durham University School of Law

Publication date: September 1, 2006


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