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Defining the limits of religious protection in the workplace

Strasbourg must clarify further the extent to which manifestation of religion or belief forms an essential requirement of that belief falling within the scope of anti-discrimination rules, says Darren Newman

5 September 2012

The four religious discrimination cases heard before the European Court of Human Rights yesterday have aroused strong emotions. That makes for exciting news coverage but unfortunately gets in the way of rational analysis. The cases are backed by a Christian lobby group, but there is more substance to them than the rather flimsy claims of Christian ‘persecution’ made by public figures who should know better.

The four claimants - Eweida, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane - claim that UK law has failed to protect their right to manifest their religious beliefs under article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights and failed to protect them against discrimination based on their religious beliefs under article 14.

The cases di...

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