Sisters,Together always not Discriminated Against
(Grand Chamber) The claimants were sisters who had lived together all their lives and owned property jointly. They complained that the Inheritance Tax regime treated them worse than it would a married couple, and was discriminatory.
Held: Whilst some protections had been extended to give relief to same sex partnerships, it still did not assist those in the claimants’ position. Given that there was no domestic remedy available, the applicants had been correct to apply direct to the court, and no time limit applied. However, even assuming that the applicants could be compared to a couple in a married or same sex relationship, the difference in treatment was not inconsistent with article 14.
The difference of treatment for the purposes of the grant of social security benefits, between an unmarried applicant who had a long-term relationship with the deceased, and a widow in the same situation, was justified, marriage remaining an institution that was widely accepted as conferring a particular status on those who entered it, and the respondent was not to be criticised for pursuing taxation policies designed to promote marriage; nor for making available those advantages to committed homosexual couples. The difference in treatment was justified.
J. Casadevall, President and Judges Sir Nicolas Bratza, G. Bonello, K. Traja, S Pavlovschi, L. Garlicki and L. Mijovic, Section Registrar T.L. Early
13378/05,  ECHR 1064, (2007) 44 EHRR 51, 21 BHRC 640,  STI 106,  STI 1279,  1 FCR 69,  STC 252, 9 ITL Rep 535,  WTLR 607
European Convention on Human Rights, Inheritance Tax Act 1984 18(1)
Cited – In re P and Others, (Adoption: Unmarried couple) (Northern Ireland); In re G HL 18-Jun-2008
The applicants complained that as an unmarried couple they had been excluded from consideration as adopters.
Held: Northern Ireland legislation had not moved in the same way as it had for other jurisdictions within the UK. The greater . .
See Also – Burden and Burden v The United Kingdom ECHR 29-Apr-2008
(Grand Chamber) The claimants were sisters who had lived together all their lives. They complained of discrimination in their treatment under the Inheritance Tax system as opposed to the treatment of a same sex couple living in a sexual . .
Cited – Carson and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 4-Nov-2008
(Grand Chamber) Pensioners who had moved abroad complained that they had been excluded from the index-linked uprating of pensions given to pensioners living in England.
Held: This was not an infringement of their human rights. Differences in . .
See Also – Burden and Burden v The United Kingdom ECHR 11-Sep-2007
The claimants were sisters who had lived together all their lives. They complained of discrimination in their treatment under the Inheritance Tax system as opposed to the treatment of a same sex couple living in a sexual relationship. . .
Cited – Eweida And Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 15-Jan-2013
The named claimant had been employed by British Airways. She was a committed Christian and wished to wear a small crucifix on a chain around her neck. This breached the then dress code and she was dismissed. Her appeals had failed. Other claimants . .
Cited – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v United Kingdom ECHR 4-Mar-2014
The claimant said that it had been wrongfully deprived of relief from business rates for its two temples. It asserted that it was a religion, and that the treatment was discriminatory. The government said that the refusal was on the basis alone that . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Human Rights, Inheritance Tax, Discrimination, Family
Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.248125