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The State Immunity Act & the infringement of fair trial rights for domestic workers

29 July 2015

The AIRE Centre has been invited to provide written and oral submissions to the Supreme Court in the case of Benkharbouche & anr -v- Embassy of the Republic of Sudan & Ors.

In February the Court of Appeal decided that the State Immunity Act 1978 infringed the rights of Ms. Benkharbouche and Ms. Janah, Moroccan nationals, who were employed as domestic staff at the Sudanese and Libyan embassies in London, respectively.

Specifically the Court decided that prohibiting Ms. Benkharbouche and Ms. Janah to bring a claim against their embassies in the Employment tribunal breached Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights – their right to a fair trial. The Court also stated that by refusing them the ability to rely on the exceptions under the Act because they were neither UK nationals nor habitually resident in the UK at the time they made the contracts, breached both Article 6 and Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the prohibition against discrimination.

The case has been appealed to the UK Supreme Court. The AIRE Centre has been granted permission to intervene through both written and oral submissions in this case.

For more details on the background of this case visit our news archives

For further queries contact:

Audrey Cherryl Mogan, Legal Officer & Communications Manager, The AIRE Centre 

Tel: +44(0)207 831 4276 / +44(0)785 077 2730/ amogan@airecentre.org  

 

 

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