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Discrimination

Cases where the AIRE Centre Represented the Applicant

Salgueiro da Silva  Mouta v Portugal  (33290/96): The Applicant was refused custody of or access to his daughter based on his sexual orientation.  The Applicant was divorced and living with his male partner. The mother was divorced and living with her male partner.  The Court found the discriminatory treatment breached Article 8 in conjunction with Article 14.

O’Donoghue v the United Kingdom (34848/07): - Initially working with Law Centre Northern Ireland, the AIRE Centre is representing a couple with children who were prevented from marrying due to the operation of the UK Certificate of Approval scheme which restricted the rights of foreigners to marry unless they married in the Church of England. The scheme was amended as a result of UK litigation and was eventually declared unlawful in the case of R (on the application of Baiai & others) v Secretary of State in 2008 in which the AIRE Centre intervened before the House of Lords. The case has been selected for the ECtHR’s “ pilot judgment”  procedure due to the significant number of people affected by the scheme. This case is currently awaiting judgment.

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Third Party Interventions

Finci and Sedjic v Bosnia & Herzegovina (27996/06 & 34836/06): The AIRE Centre intervened in this case involving the denial to members of certain ethnic minorities (Jews and Roma) the right to stand for elected office in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Under the constitutional provision adopted following the Dayton Agreement only members of the three main ethnic groups can stand for office.  The AIRE Centre’s intervention dealt with the limitations on standing for office in European countries since the Second World War, where such restrictions have generally only been imposed as a punishment for a criminal offence of affiliation with a discredited regime.  The Court took up the points made in the intervention in its judgment, delivered at the end of 2009, in which it found a violation of the Convention.

Solomon v Spain (47159/08): This case concerned the treatment of a black prostitute, lawfully resident in Spain,  by Spanish police. The Applicant in this case alleged discrimination on the basis of her race and gender. The AIRE Centre submitted a third-party intervention in this case in conjunction with the University of Columbia Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic with the assistance of Barbara Cohen, a discrimination law consultant. The intervention placed before the Court information on intersectional discrimination under international law, including under Article 14 ECHR, and regional case law dealing with this type of discrimination.

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