The European Convention on Human Rights: Fundamental Choice Arguments

Robert Wintemute

in Sexual Orientation and Human Rights

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780198264880
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682841 | DOI:

Series: Sexual Orientation and Human Rights

The European Convention on Human Rights: Fundamental Choice Arguments

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Turning from the United States constitution to the European Convention on Human Rights, one is immediately confronted by the striking differences between the texts of the two instruments. These differences present both a major advantage and a major disadvantage for gays, lesbians, or bisexuals seeking to argue that a particular instance of sexual orientation discrimination violates the Convention. The advantage is the clear textual basis for ‘right of privacy’ arguments in the express guarantees of the ‘right to respect for... private and family life’ in Article 8, and the ‘right to marry and to found a family’ in Article 12. This chapter begins with a brief overview of the cases in which the European Court of Human Rights (the ‘Court’) and the European Commission of Human Rights (the ‘Commission’) have addressed issues of sexual orientation discrimination. It then considers the ways in which applicants under the Convention have used fundamental choice arguments, relying on Article 8 and other Articles.

Keywords: Europe; gays; sexual orientation; sexual orientation discrimination; right of privacy; lesbians; bisexual; fundamental choice

Chapter.  15196 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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