Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 35 (Jul)
Court: European Court of Human Rights

Judge Costa (President), Judges Baka, Gaukar Jorundsson, Jungwiert, Ugrekhelidze, Mularomi and Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers (ad hoc judge) and Mrs S Dolle, Section Registrar

Representation John Hendry QC, Lord Wedderburn of Charlton QC and Jennifer Eady (instructed by Thompsons and Pattinson & Brewer) for the applicants.
  James Eadie and Jason Coppel (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) for the respondent government.
Judgment Dates: 2 July 2002


Human rights - Association - Trade union - Industrial relations - Trade union membership and activities - Employer offering pay rise to employees who signed personal contracts relinquishing certain trade union rights - Such practice permitted under English law - Applicants refusing to sign personal contracts - Applicants receiving lower wage increases than employees who signed personal contracts - Whether English law contrary to applicants' Convention rights - Whether applicants entitled to just satisfaction for non-pecuniary loss - European Convention on Human Rights, arts 11, 41.

The Case

Sections23(1) of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978, as re-enacted as s146(1) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992, was contrary to art11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protected the right to join and form trade unions, in so far as it permitted employers to use financial incentives to induce employees to surrender important union rights, in particular in that English law permitted employers to offer personal contracts relinquishing various trade union rights, under which those employees who signed personal contracts would receive pay rises greater than those employees who did not.

Practice Areas

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