Van Der Mussele v Belgium: ECHR 23 Nov 1983

There is discrimination only if the cases under comparison are not sufficiently different to justify the difference in treatment. This expressed by saying that the two cases must be in an ‘analogous situation’. The social security system is a ‘system characterised by a corpus of rights and obligations of which it would be artificial to isolate one specific aspect’.
The court rejected a submission that there had been a breach of article 4 where a pupil Avocat was compelled by regulations of the Order of Advocates to assist those in need of legal aid and represent clients without payment if so directed by the Order. There could be a breach ‘if the service imposed a burden which was so excessive or disproportionate to the advantages attached to the future exercise of that profession that the service could not be treated as having been voluntarily accepted beforehand.’ The court attached importance to the services falling within the ambit of the normal activities of an Avocat, that a compensatory factor was to be found in the advantages attaching to the profession and that the services contributed to the applicant’s professional training, with its opportunity to enlarge his experience.


8919/80, (1983) 6 EHRR 163, [1983] ECHR 13


Worldlii, Bailii


European Convention on Human Rights 4

Cited by:

CitedCarson, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; Reynolds v Same HL 26-May-2005
One claimant said that as a foreign resident pensioner, she had been excluded from the annual uprating of state retirement pension, and that this was an infringement of her human rights. Another complained at the lower levels of job-seeker’s . .
CitedWilkinson v Kitzinger and others FD 31-Jul-2006
The parties had gone through a ceremony of marriage in Columbia, being both women. After the relationship failed, the claimant sought a declaration that the witholding of the recognition of same-sex marriages recoginised in a foreign jurisdiction . .
CitedPrudential Plc and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax and Another SC 23-Jan-2013
The appellants resisted disclosure to the revenue of advice it had received. It claimed legal advice privilege (LAP), though the advice was from its accountants.
Held: (Lords Sumption and Clarke dissenting) LAP applies to all communications . .
CitedReilly and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 12-Feb-2013
The claimants complained of the system where they were obliged to work for free to claim Jobseekers Allowance.
Held: The 2011 Regulations were required to specify the schemes under which the claimants were to claim. Instead, the regulations . .
CitedReilly and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions SC 30-Oct-2013
The Secretary of State appealed against the decision in favour of Ms Reilly and Mr Wilson, that the 2011 Regulations, made under section 17A of the 1995 Act, did not comply with the requirements of that section, and (ii) a cross-appeal brought by . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Discrimination

Updated: 04 June 2022; Ref: scu.164928