Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2013] All ER (D) 69 (Jan)
Neutral Citation: [2013] ECHR 48420/10
Court: European Court of Human Rights

Judge Thor Bjorgvinsson (President), Judges Bratza, Garlicki, Hirvela, Kalaydjieva, Vucinic and Gaetano, and L Eearly (Section Registrar)

Judgment Dates: 15 January 2013


Human rights - Religion - Direct and indirect discrimination - Employees devout practising Christians - Employees seeking exemption from uniform or equality policies on ground of religion - Whether employers' interference with employee's right to manifest religion and beliefs legitimate and proportionate - Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, - European Convention on Human Rights, art 9.

The Case

Human rights Religion. The European Court of Human Rights awarded 2,000 to an employee who had been required not to display a religious cross by her employer, an airline. It ruled that the interference with the employee's right to manifest her religion under art 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights was disproportionate despite the legitimate aim of her employer (in the form of its uniform policy). The Court dismissed a similar claim by a nurse because the hospital's health and safety policy was a stronger justification for the interference than the airline's uniform policy. It also dismissed claims for breaches of art 9 by a registrar who did not want to preside over civil partnerships and a relationship counsellor who disapproved of same-sex relationships; in the particular cases the legitimate aim of preventing discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation outweighed the right of the applicants to manifest their religious beliefs under art 9.

Practice Areas

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