An Employee Wins Discrimination Case In European Court

An employee of British Airways won a case in the European Court of Human Rights claiming she felt discriminated because of the fact she was not allowed to wear a cross around her neck.

On the other hand, the result of three other similar cases turned to be unsuccessful.

In September 2006 Nadia Eweida was sent back home just because she said she would not remove the cross around her neck because this presented her faith. The airline changed their policy toward uniforms in next February and until then she did not go to work. According to her during the period she was off work she had lost around £3,500.

In the words of Ms Eweida members of other religions were allowed to wear religious symbols so she just wanted to have the same rights and wear her cross. She has spent years inUKand European courts until she managed to persuade people this was a violation of her human rights. In the end she felt “jubilant” on the decision the court made.

David Cameron wrote on twitter that “ppl [sic] shouldn’t suffer discrimination due to religious beliefs.”

The other three similar cases brought to court were rejected.

Being a nurse Shirley Chaplin was told she had to remove her cross because of health and safety purposes.  Ms Ladale lost her job because she refused to conduct same-sex civil partnership ceremonies and Mr. McFarlane because he was unwilling to offer sex therapy to couples with homosexual tastes.

Mr. McFarlane said he would not stop trying to win the case: “I don’t seek to make judgements about peoples’ rights to live the way they do,” said McFarlane, “but it creates a conflict for me…I would seek some reasonable accommodation of that view.”

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Prisoners may be Banned Voting

Today the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, said that there is a possibility that parliament changes the rules over voting rights in a way that prisoners may be refused legal aid to sue the government.

As there is a six-month deadline set by theStrasbourgcourt, Grayling also mentioned that MPs will get the opportunity to choose among three options concerning the voting rights of prisoners. Both

House of Commons and the House of Lords will have to make up their minds over the three options. The proposed options are:

  • a ban for prisoners sentenced to more than six months
  • a ban for prisoners sentenced to four years or more
  • a ban for all convicted prisoners

According to the European Court of Human Rights, prisoners in the UK cannot be banned voting because this will contradict to article three of the European Convention on Human Rights referring to the  the right to free and fair elections.A few weeks ago, The Legal Stop informed you about the situation:

Voting Rights For The UK Prisoners

Grayling told parliament that: ‘As lord chancellor, as well as secretary of state for justice, I take the obligation on me to uphold the rule of law seriously.’

However, he also mentioned that the parliament is the only institution that may change the current law and until this happened there was no way so that things change.

To questions on his plans against ‘ambulance-chasing compensation claims’ the justice secretary answered “I have asked the question about the use of legal aid for purposes I don’t believe our legal aid system is designed to be there for, and I hope to be bringing forward further thoughts in that area before very long.”

Grayling’s thoughts about theStrasbourgcourt are identical to those of the Labour’s former justice secretary Jack Straw. They both agree that theUKis one of the countries that need special reforms in their systems because the decisions of theStrasbourgcourt have gone far beyond the aims of its creators.


CCTV Surveillance – To Breach Human Rights?

The new  advanced CCTV cameras, introduced recently in the UK, could be breaching human rights laws, warned Andrew Rennison, UK`s first surveillance commissioner.

He says that the new high definition cameras were constantly ” popping up all over the place ” and the fast development of this technology might result in severe difficulties to regulate it properly. These cameras use a supreme face recognition functionality, which successfully identifies faces in 90% of the time. However, many people are not aware the  surveillance technology has reached such a high level of sophistication.

“I’m convinced that if we don’t regulate it properly – ie: the technological ability to use millions of images we capture – there will be a huge public backlash,” said Mr Rennison. “It is the Big Brother scenario playing out large. It’s the ability to pick out your face in a crowd from a camera which is probably half a mile away.”

He used the term “BigBrother” in reference to the George Orwell`s novel “1984″, where people are being constantly monitoring for any “wrongdoing”. The CCTV monitoring technology is being critiqued by many people, as it is breaching personal privacy. Roughly there are over 1.85m CCTV cameras around the UK and because of this Rennison is concerned that at some point this technology might be recognised as a reason to breach human rights laws, protecting the rights for personal life.

“I don’t want the state to carry on and start pushing the boundaries. Let’s have a debate – if the public support it, then fine,” he stated. “If the public don’t support it, and we need to increase the regulation, then that’s what we need to do.”-concluded Mr Rennison.

At least with the implementation of this technology will have a positive effect on corruption rates, as the corrupted individuals will never know whether they are “completely alone” or not. In the mean time, you can check our Anti-bribery and Corruption Policy.