Khan v Royal Air Force Summary Appeal Court: Admn 7 Oct 2004

The defendant claimed that he had gone absent without leave from the RAF as a conscientous objector.
Held: The defendant had not demonstrated by complaint to the RAF that he did object to service in Iraq. In some circumstances where there was no procedure to make his objection known, the failure to do so might be taken account of, but here such a procedure did exist. For article 9, ”law’ (i) must have the status of law, (ii) must be adequately accessible, (iii) must be of sufficient precision to be foreseeable, and (iv) must be compatible with the rule of law. ‘ Although the appellant’s recall papers did not expressly refer to conscientious objection as a ground for claiming exemption, it did sufficiently identify a relevant ground, namely ‘any other grounds . . for compassionate reasons’. Nevertheless there was no relevant manifestation of conscientious objection and no interference with any such manifestation by reason of the appellant’s recall, arrest, prosecution or conviction.


Mr Justice Forbes Lord Justice Rix


[2004] EWHC 2230 (Admin), Times 28-Oct-2004




European Convention on Human Rights 9.1, Air Force Act 1955, The Reserve Forces (Call Out and Recall) (Exemption Etc) Regulations 1997 (SI 1997 No 307)


England and Wales


CitedGaygusuz v Austria ECHR 16-Sep-1996
The applicant was a Turkish national resident in Austria. While working there he had paid unemployment insurance contributions. At a stage when he was unemployed he applied for an advance on his pension in the form of emergency assistance. That was . .
CitedCarson and Reynolds v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 17-Jun-2003
The claimant Reynolds challenged the differential treatment by age of jobseeker’s allowance. Carson complained that as a foreign resident pensioner, her benefits had not been uprated. The questions in each case were whether the benefit affected a . .
CitedSepet and Bulbil v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 20-Mar-2003
The appellants sought asylum. They were Kurdish pacifists, and claimed that they would be forced into the armed forces on pain of imprisonment if they were returned to Turkey.
Held: The concept of ‘persecution’ was central. It is necessary to . .
CitedThlimmenos v Greece ECHR 6-Apr-2000
(Grand Chamber) The applicant was a Jehovah’s Witness who had been convicted of insubordination under the Military Criminal Code for refusing to wear a military uniform at a time of general mobilisation. He was subsequently refused appointment as a . .
CitedX v Federal Republic of Germany ECHR 5-Jul-1977
(Commission) A complaint was brought by a Jehovah’s witness who objected not only to military service but also to compulsory civilian substitute service.
Held: The complaint was inadmissible. The Commission referred to article 4(3)(b) and . .
CitedLeyla Sahin v Turkey ECHR 29-Jun-2004
(Grand Chamber) The applicant had been denied access to written examinations and to a lecture at the University of Istanbul because she was wearing an Islamic headscarf. This was prohibited not only by the rules of the university but also by the . .
CitedJohansen v Norway ECHR 14-Oct-1985
(Commission) A pacifist objected to civilian substitute service on the ground that it tended to uphold respect for military service.
Held: The complaint was inadmissible. Referring to article 4(3)(b): ‘The Convention does not prevent a state . .
CitedRegina (Williamson and Others) v Secretary of State for Education and Employment CA 12-Dec-2002
The claimants sought a declaration that the restriction on the infliction of corporal punishment in schools infringed their human right of freedom of religion. The schools concerned were Christian schools who believed that moderate corporal . .
CitedKalac v Turkey ECHR 1-Jul-1997
In exercising his freedom to manifest his beliefs an individual ‘may need to take his specific situation into account.’ ‘The Commission recalls that the expression ‘in accordance with the law’, within the meaning of Article 9(2), requires first that . .
CitedKrotov v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 11-Feb-2004
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Armed Forces, Crime, Human Rights

Updated: 13 June 2022; Ref: scu.215931