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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

19 SEP 2011

Family and private life, ambits and pieces - M v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2007] CFLQ 390

This commentary considers the concepts of 'family life' and 'private life' as embodied in Article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 (the European Convention) and the way the issue of discrimination contrary to Article 14 is dealt with by English courts. One particular difficulty seems to be the 'ambit' of the Article 8 rights. The way issues are classified as falling within the 'ambit' of a European Convention Article by the House of Lords seems to defy the purpose of the European Convention and it is suggested that the focus on the ambit is not only unhelpful but also leading away from the real issue: whether a differential treatment can be justified.

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