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Law prohibits cohabitee from claiming bereavement damages under Fatal Accidents Act

Smith v Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust [2016] EWHC 2208

The High Court found that while the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 prevented unmarried couples from claiming an entitlement to bereavement damages, the right to privacy and family life under the Convention was not engaged.  The Court indicated that it hoped the outcome of this case would provoke further discussion in Parliament about possible reform of the law.

Discrimination, ECHR Art. 8

European Court finds that British Gurka pension scheme is not discriminatory

British Gurkha Welfare Society and others v The United Kingdom, Application No. 44818/11

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that while Gurkha pension entitlements are less than those of other soldiers in the British Army, it made no finding of unlawful discrimination.  The applicants were two former Gurkha soldiers and the British Gurkha Welfare Society (BGWS).

Discrimination, Pensions

Leave granted to judicially review law criminalising those who pay for sexual services

The High Court has granted leave for a judicial review against the Department of Justice, concerning the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (NI) 2015.  The legislation allows people to be convicted for paying for sexual services in Northern Ireland.  The legislation was introduced in 2015 by a private member’s bill.


Supreme Court seeks guidance from CJEU regarding case of transgender woman refused state pension

Under the Gender Recognition Act 2004, by obtaining a gender recognition certificate, transgender people have the right to have their gender formally recognised in law.  MB was married in 1974, began to live as a woman in 1991 and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1995 but did not apply for a gender recognition certificate.  In order to be granted a certificate, MB would have had to annul her marriage.  She decided to remain married to her wife and mother of their two children.

Discrimination, LGBT, Pensions

United Nations Human Rights Committee asks Ireland to amend its abortion laws

Views adopted by the Committee under article 5(4) of the Optional protocol, concerning communication No. 2324/2013
In June, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) ruled that Ireland’s abortion laws subject women to ‘discrimination and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.’  On the facts of this case, the right to private and family life was also violated.

Discrimination, Health