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Human rights, anti-discrimination and social security benefits: recent UK case law

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Since the adoption of the Human Rights Act 1998, challenges to UK social security law on the basis of the European Convention on Human Rights have become common - especially under the anti-discrimination provisions of Article 14. However, few of these challenges have been successful and, in general, the English courts have shown a poor understanding of the principles of human rights law. The recent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in Stec (2005) 41 EHRR SE 295 and the House of Lords in RJM (2008) UKHL 63 have clarified important issues including the material scope of the Convention and the fact that a broad understanding should be given to the concept of 'status' for the purposes of Article 14.
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Keywords: European Convention on Human Rights; anti-discrimination; application in recent social security cases

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Law and Social Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK

Publication date: 01 December 2010

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