Anti-marriage, anti-family – this Court of Human Wrongs must go

Dec 4, 2017 by

by Andrew Tettenborn, The Conservative Woman:

Human rights enthusiasts want you to think that the European Convention on Human Rights deals in matters of high constitutional significance. In fact as often as not the claims it supports are rather different, aimed more at micromanaging the way we do things in the interests of equality enthusiasts and other progressives. A court decision last week, which probably passed most TCW readers by, neatly shows what is going on beneath the surface.

A retired prison governor named John Bulloch died in 2011 as a result of incompetent treatment in a Preston hospital. The question of compensation for his death then arose. Now, the rules on this – at least those passed by Parliament – are fairly simple. First, almost any relative who was financially dependent on the victim, including spouses and cohabitees with a minimum of two years’ standing, can claim for loss of support. Second, a limited class, restricted to spouses, civil partners and the parents of deceased unmarried minor children, have an additional no-questions-asked claim for just under £13,000 for the mere fact of bereavement. The second caused the problem. Ms Jacqueline Smith, Mr Bulloch’s unmarried partner of some 11 years, was welcome to claim every penny of lost support but, as a non-spouse, not the additional £13,000. She nevertheless sued. On what basis? You’ve guessed it: human rights. And you’ll guess what happened too: the Court of Appeal agreed. It declared that whatever Parliament said, English law had by refusing to treat her as it would a wife failed to satisfy the minimum standards of treatment demanded of all civilised countries.

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