The second division in human rights adjudication: Social rights claims under the human rights act 1998
549 - 568
Human Rights Law Review
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© The Author 2015. The Human Rights Act 1998 (UK) primarily protects civil and political rights although in recent years a number of claims have also been brought concerning the protection of social rights. Claimants have used Articles 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights to argue that the withdrawal, or non-provision, of a particular state benefit is incompatible with their Convention rights. By comparison to the adjudication in other types of HRA claim, courts have usually treated these claims less favourably. There is a reluctance to extend the HRA to this type of claim; relevant judgments of the European Court of Human Rights have not been followed; and the standard of review applied to justifications for interference is usually the reasonableness, rather than the proportionality standard. Explanations for the difference are considered and it is concluded that there is no satisfactory justification for the maintenance of a second division in human rights adjudication.
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