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Does Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights apply to disciplinary procedures in the workplace?

Sanders, Astrid (2013) Does Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights apply to disciplinary procedures in the workplace? Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 33 (4). pp. 791-819. ISSN 0143-6503

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Identification Number: 10.1093/ojls/gqt030


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.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Author
Divisions: Law
Subjects: J Political Science > JX International law
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2013 13:37
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 22:54

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