The European Court of Human Rights has today notified in writing its Chamber judgment in the case of Carson and Others v. the United Kingdom (application no. 42184/05).
The Court held, by six votes to one, that there had been no violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) to the European Convention on Human Rights.
Only a lawyer could determine the weight of the various considerations, however as a layman I was struck by the fact that the dissenting voice was that of Lech Garlicki, President of the Court. The following is my interpretation of what he said. He felt there were 4 powerful arguments that should rule:
- Since all pensioners are forced to contribute to the pension arrangement, then all should receive the same pension independent of residence.
- Inflation happens in all countries so there should be equal treatment for inflation in all countries
- As was observed by the domestic authorities, it would be difficult �to defend the logic of the present situation”
- A violation that results from legislative omissions in the UK like this is still within the reach of European supervision.
Of course those in the UK Government who refuse to look at the logic or equity of the situation will shelter behind the legal niceties however flawed they may be. It is disappointing that the other 6 judges of the ECHR did not have to respond to the 4 arguments that the President of the Court presented. This will most surely not be the end of the road.