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social sciences

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European Commission on Human Rights / European Court of Human Rights  
 
page: 1  2  3  

Unlike Lusig-Prean and Beckett, Smith and Grady also argued that Britain's policy contradicted Article 3, which prohibits inhumane or "degrading treatment or punishment." They claimed that that Article 10, which provides for freedom of expression, was violated because the ban against gay service members limited "their right to give expression to their sexual identity." The third violation came under Article 13, which requires that a country provide "an effective remedy before a national assembly" for the applicants' complaints.

Smith and Grady lost the Article 3 complaint because the facts of their cases failed to reach the minimum level of severity needed. They lost the Article 10 charge because it was deemed unnecessary since they had won the Article 8 complaint. With Article 13, the Court found the minimum threshold of the rationality test in domestic courts to be so high as effectively to deprive the courts of the opportunity to consider whether the investigations and subsequent discharges of the applicants served the national security claims of the government.

Sponsor Message.

With its decision, the Court became the first final appellate court in the world to invalidate a ban on lesbian, gay, and bisexual military personnel under a human rights treaty or constitution. The verdict could not force Britain to change its laws. However, pressure from the Court had a significant impact, particularly since Britain prides itself on its human rights record and its membership in the European community. Consequently, Britain ended its ban in 2000.

Caryn E. Neumann

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social sciences >> Overview:  Greece: Modern

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social sciences >> Overview:  United Kingdom II: 1900 to the Present

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    Bibliography
   

Council of Europe. www.coe.int.

Council of Europe. Publications of the European Court of Human Rights: Series A: Judgments and Decisions: Rees Case 24 January 1986. Berlin: Carl Heymanns Verlag KG, 1987.

Helfer, Lawrence R. "Finding a Consensus on Equality: The Homosexual Age of Consent and the European Convention on Human Rights." New York University Law Review 65.4 (October 1990): 1044-45, 1059-61.

McGhee, Derek. Homosexuality, Law, and Resistance. London: Routledge, 2001.

Robertson, A. H. Human Rights in Europe. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1977.

Tatchell, Peter. Europe in the Pink: Lesbian and Gay Equality in the New Europe. London: GMP, 1992.

Wintemute, Robert. "European Court of Human Rights Strikes Down British Ban on Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals in the Armed Forces." Lesbian/Gay Law Notes (October 1999): 1-5.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Neumann, Caryn E.  
    Entry Title: European Commission on Human Rights / European Court of Human Rights  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated November 28, 2005  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/eur_comm_hr.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  
 

 

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