Cornwell v United Kingdom; Leary v United Kingdom: ECHR 25 Apr 2000

Mr Cornwell’s wife had died on 24 October 1989, leaving a dependent child. On 7 February 1997 his representative had ‘contacted’ the Benefits Agency to enquire about widow’s benefits. On 14 February 1997 the Agency ‘answered’ to say that legislation provided only for widows and not widowers. On 28 March 1997 the Agency confirmed that if Mrs Cornwell’s record had been that of a man, her survivor would have been entitled to Widow’s Payment and WMA. The position of the Government was set out in the decision as follows: ‘The Government contest the admissibility of the application insofar as it relates to the period 24 October 1989 to 7 February 1996. They point out that the applicant did not attempt to claim widows’ benefits until 7 February 1997 and that it was only from this date onwards that the legislation was applied to him. Had a woman claimed widows’ benefits on 7 February 1997 in respect of the death of her husband in October 1989, she would have been told that she was out of time for claiming a widow’s payment and that she could only claim widowed mothers’ allowance with effect from 8 February 1996. The UK had agreed to pay the benefit equally until the coming into force of legislation which would correct the situation.


Times 10-May-2000, 36578/97, (2000) 27 EHRR CD62, [2000] ECHR 167, [2000] ECHR 168


Worldlii, Bailii


Human Rights

Cited by:

CitedHooper and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 18-Jun-2003
The appellants were widowers whose wives had died at a time when the benefits a widow would have received were denied to widowers. The legislation had since changed but they variously sought compensation for the unpaid sums.
Held: The appeal . .
CitedHooper and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions HL 5-May-2005
Widowers claimed that, in denying them benefits which would have been payable to widows, the Secretary of State had acted incompatibly with their rights under article 14 read with article 1 of Protocol 1 and article 8 of the ECHR.
Held: The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Benefits, Discrimination

Updated: 04 June 2022; Ref: scu.165864