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31 Aug 2018


Mark Harper speaks with BBC Radio4 as the Supreme Court rules against government in cohabitation case

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Mark Harper yesterday spoke with Sarah Montague on BBC Radio4’s The World at One to discuss the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that to deny a widow bereavement benefits because she and her partner of 23 years were unmarried was discriminatory and a breach of human rights.

Siobhan McLaughlin had four children with John Adams, but despite living with him for two decades was denied a £2,000 lump-sum bereavement payment after his death in 2014.

The Supreme Court justices ruled that this was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights — article 14, which protects against discrimination, and article 8, which protects a person’s family life.

“This is a critical step towards ending the discriminatory treatment of cohabiting couples.” said Mark. “It’s a good example of how the Human Rights Act can be used to strike down legislation which is unfair.”

Listen to Mark Harper on BBC Radio4 here


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London WC2A 1DT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7421 8383
DX: 251 London/Chancery Lane
Email: [email protected]

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