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Sceptical Essays on Human Rights$
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Tom Campbell, Keith Ewing, and Adam Tomkins

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199246687

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199246687.001.0001

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Discrimination Law and the Human Rights Act 1998 *

Discrimination Law and the Human Rights Act 1998 *

(p.215) 12 Discrimination Law and the Human Rights Act 1998*
Sceptical Essays on Human Rights

Aileen McColgan

Oxford University Press

The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates into British Law Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which provides that ‘the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status’. Article 14 has been widely, and rightly, criticised for its parasitic nature, the ECHR containing no free-standing prohibition on discrimination. This chapter examines the implications of incorporation of Article 14 for discrimination law in the United Kingdom. Currently, statute regulates discrimination on grounds of sex (including gender reassignment); race; disability; and (in Northern Ireland alone) religion and political opinion. In addition, specific statutory prohibitions are imposed in relation to some forms of work-related discrimination on grounds of trade union membership, enforcement of employment rights, etc. Discrimination on grounds of political or other opinion, social origin, property, birth, or other status is not generally prohibited.

Keywords:   Human Rights Act 1998, United Kingdom, European Convention on Human Rights, discrimination law, sex discrimination, racial discrimination, disability, religion, employment discrimination

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