Law's Majestic Equality? Article 14, the First Protocol and Political Equality
O'Connell, Rory (2018) Law’s Majestic Equality? Article 14, the First Protocol and Political Equality. In: The European Convention on Human Rights and the Principle of Non-Discrimination. (Eds: Balboni, Marco), Editorale Scientifica, pp. 139-169. ISBN 978-88-9391-229-7
Posted: 2 Apr 2018
Date Written: March 26, 2018
The chapter investigates the degree to which the European Court of Human Rights' jurisprudence on political rights promotes a genuinely substantive notion of equality, or limits itself to the more formal notion of equality, famously pilloried by Anatole France. France critiqued the majestic equality of the laws for forbidding the rich as well as the poor from begging in the streets or sleeping under bridges. The review of case law suggests that the Court is strong on formal political equality but there is less progress on promoting substantive equality that would support full and effective participation. The paper identifies how substantive equality in the political process might be better promoted in the Convention system: through wider ratification of Protocol 12, developing the notion of indirect discrimination and making more use of positive obligations and affirmative action.
Keywords: equality, non-discrimination, political rights, political equality
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation