Dignity and Equality under Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis investigates the current and potential use of dignity by the European Court of Human Rights in the interpretation of the non-discrimination provision of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 14. The first part of the research attempts to demonstrate how the Court is currently relying on the concept of dignity in Article 14 cases. There is also an investigation of the current methodology of the Court in dealing with Article 14 cases and the shortcomings therein. Having looked at the current state of affairs in the jurisdiction of focus, the second part turns to other jurisdictions as a source of inspiration to enable learning around the potential of dignity. The jurisdictions which are selected are Canada and South Africa, where dignity has been relied on in order to understand and develop the non-discrimination jurisprudence. The final part returns the focus to the European Court of Human Rights to propose a new approach to the Article 14 case law. It will be suggested that dignity can be incorporated as an interpretive tool for understanding the grounds of discrimination and in the justification analysis. This, it will be argued, will ensure enhanced protection of individuals (especially minorities) from discrimination, while also providing clarity in the reasoning of the ECtHR. This will bring increased legal certainty which will enhance the legitimacy of the Court.
Date of Award23 Jun 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorPanos Kapotas (Supervisor), Daniel Bedford (Supervisor) & Matthew John Weait (Supervisor)

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