Esfandiari and others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions: CA 23 Mar 2006

The claimant argued that the funeral benefits regime unlawfully discriminated against migrants because the 1987 Regulations did not permit payments to be made for a burial abroad, except as provided for by EU law.
Held: The argument was rejected. Considerations of cost and administrative convenience can be good reasons capable of justifying discrimination. Carnwath LJ said: ‘Decisions on the allocation of public funds for such purposes are questions of social policy, not law. If justification is required, the considerations set out in the evidence of the Secretary of State, in summary that an amended scheme would be more complex and more costly to administer, are not irrational, and are well within the ‘margin of appreciation’ allowed by Strasbourg jurisprudence.’


Carnwath LJ


[2006] EWCA Civ 282




European Convention on Human Rights


England and Wales


See AlsoEsfandiari and others v Secretary of State for Works and Pensions CA 6-Oct-2005
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Cited by:

CitedStewart v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 29-Jul-2011
The court considered the arrangements for providing public support for the costs of funerals. The claimant’s son had died whilst she was in prison. Assistance had been refused because, as a prisoner, she was not receiving benefits. She complained . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Benefits, Human Rights

Updated: 05 July 2022; Ref: scu.239217