Posts Tagged ‘European Convention on Human Rights’


Jane Rooney is PhD Candidate in Law at the University of Durham. Her research brings a comparative analysis to the extraterritorial application of human rights by domestic, regional and international adjudicatory bodies, with central focus on the approach taken by the European Court of Human Rights. She tweets @JaneMRooney. This post was originally published at European Futures and is reposted with permission and thanks.

On 30 November 2015 in the case of The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission’s Application [2015] NIQB 96, the High Court of Northern Ireland found that Northern Irish law regulating abortion was incompatible with Article 8 (right to private life) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). This was an historical judgement made possible through the conjoined efforts of many, including women directly affected by the legislation, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International.

Judge Horner (Mr Justice Mark Horner) delivered a judgement that engaged with many complex legal, political and social questions which, although not entirely beyond criticism, is to be applauded. He found that the foetus does not have a right to life under Article 2 ECHR; that there is no domestic consensus on issues relating to abortion in Northern Ireland; and that permitting a woman to travel to England to receive an abortion does not mitigate against the harshness of the regulations in place.

The Decision of Judge Horner (more…)

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Anna_JobeAnna Jobe is a third year PhD student at Durham Law School. Her thesis research concerns the regulation of religious symbols.

“I do not know what the definition of ‘draconian’ is, but it certainly does not sound very good, and I am sure that it does not apply to my Bill.”

– Philip Hollobone

On the 28th February 2014, the Face Coverings (Prohibition) Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons. The debate will be resumed on May 16th. Introduced as a Private Members’ Bill, it represents Conservative MP Philip Hollobone’s second attempt to prohibit the wearing of ‘certain face coverings’ in public places (after his 2010 Face Coverings (Regulation) Bill). It forms part of a series of Tory Private Members’ Bills dubbed the ‘Alternative Queen’s Speech’, which include the return of national service and the death penalty, as well as a national ‘Margaret Thatcher’ day. By Hollobone’s own admission, despite being framed in neutral terms, the Bill is designed to target two coverings in particular: balaclavas and full-face Islamic veils (hereafter ‘veils’). In the context of increasingly punitive measures in other parts of Europe – including criminal sanctions in France and Belgium – the passing of this Bill is not quite as implausible as may first appear.


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