Feldbrugge v The Netherlands: ECHR 29 May 1986

The court was asked whether the applicant’s entitlement to a statutory sickness allowance, which was a contributory scheme but for which she had not registered due to illness, was a civil right within the meaning of article 6.
Held: The applicant claimed a right ‘flowing from specific rules laid down by the legislation in force’ and that the right in question was ‘a personal, economic and individual right’, a factor which brought it close to the civil sphere. Taking account of the affinity of the statutory scheme with insurance under the ordinary law, the features of private law predominated and they conferred on her entitlement the character of a civil right within the meaning of the article.
The minority were unable to persuade the majority to restrict the application of article 6, in the civil sphere, to rights and obligations in private law. ‘The judicialisation of dispute procedures, as guaranteed by article 6(1), is eminently appropriate in the realm of relations between individuals but not necessarily so in the administrative sphere, where organisational, social and economic considerations may legitimately warrant dispute procedures of a less judicial and formal kind.’
Hudoc Judgment (Just satisfaction) Pecuniary damage – claim rejected; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses award – domestic proceedings


(1986) 6 EHRR 425, 8562/79, [1986] ECHR 4, [1987] ECHR 18, [1987] ECHR 18, [1986] ECHR 4


Worldlii, Worldlii, Bailii, Bailii


European Convention on Human Rights 6


Human Rights

Cited by:

CitedSecretary of State for the Home Department v AF AM and AN etc CA 17-Oct-2008
The claimants were subject to non-derogating control orders, being non EU nationals suspected of terrorism. They now said that they had not had a compatible hearing as to the issue of whether they were in fact involved in terrorist activity.
CitedA, Regina (on the Application of) v London Borough of Croydon SC 26-Nov-2009
The applicants sought asylum, and, saying that they were children under eighteen, sought also the assistance of the local authority. Social workers judged them to be over eighteen and assistance was declined.
Held: The claimants’ appeals . .
CitedTomlinson and Others v Birmingham City Council SC 17-Feb-2010
The appellant asked whether the statutory review of a housing authority’s decision on whether he was intentionally homeless was a determination of a civil right, and if so whether the review was of the appropriate standard. The claimant said that . .
CitedPoshteh v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea SC 10-May-2017
The appellant, applying for housing as a homeless person, had rejected the final property offered on the basis that its resemblance to the conditions of incarceration in Iran, from which she had fled, would continue and indeed the mental . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Administrative

Updated: 03 August 2022; Ref: scu.164954