Journal Article

Does Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights Apply to Disciplinary Procedures in the Workplace?

Astrid Sanders

in Oxford Journal of Legal Studies

Volume 33, issue 4, pages 791-819
Published in print December 2013 | ISSN: 0143-6503
Published online October 2013 | e-ISSN: 1464-3820 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ojls/gqt030
Does Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights Apply to Disciplinary Procedures in the Workplace?

Show Summary Details

Preview

Remarkably, there have been three decisions by the Court of Appeal and one decision by the Supreme Court (including notably R(G) v Governors of X School) in the space of three years on the same question as to whether the procedural guarantees of Article 6 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) can apply to disciplinary proceedings in the workplace. The earlier recent domestic decisions held that Article 6(1) could apply or did apply to workplace disciplinary procedures and could imply or did imply a right to legal representation. More recently, employees have used Article 6 to argue for a right to independent disciplinary panels. In comparison, the more recent domestic decisions have held that Article 6(1) did not apply to workplace disciplinary procedures. This article explores the scope for Article 6(1) to apply to workplace disciplinary procedures by looking at the Strasbourg case law and explores the additional possibility that Article 6 could be engaged in workplace disciplinary procedures based on the alternative civil rights not to be wrongfully dismissed or unfairly dismissed. The benefit of these alternative civil rights would be that they would open up the protection of Article 6 to more employees than just professionals. This article also discusses the apparent conflict between the aims of employees in the cases on Article 6 ECHR and recent broader policy developments in favour of early and informal resolution of employment disputes. It is concluded that these cases reinforce objections to the Coalition Government’s broader ‘rebalancing’ agenda, as dismissal laws require strengthening and not further weakening.

Keywords: employment law; human rights; Article 6

Journal Article.  14581 words. 

Subjects: Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.