BNP Infiltration: Court finds in favour of union.

Submitted by carolyn on Wed, 07/03/2007 - 14:51

7 March 2007

On 27th February 2007 the European Court of Human Rights found in favour of ASLEF (download) in a case that will have profound and positive implications for trade unions.

In ASLEF v UK, the ECHR held that:

  • Art 11 does not impose an obligation on a union to admit those who do not share their values (para 39); and,
  • the right of ASLEF to choose its members outweighed the BNP member’s right to freedom of expression (para. 50).

DTI Consultation Document

On 16th May the DTI published a Consultation Document offering suggestions on how the UK’s domestic law should be amended to reflect the decisions of the European Court in the ASLEF case. Responses to that Consultation Document are due by 8th August 2007.

In an attempt to assist and inform the discussion around the DTI Consultation Document, the Institute held a special Briefing Session and producing a Briefing Paper

In 2004 the Institute made a submission to the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR). In that submission John Hendy and Keith Ewing argued that UK law needed to be updated to allow unions to determine their own rulebooks, prevent BNP infiltration and bring UK laws in line with international obligations. In its response, the JCHR agreed with us that the UK laws needed amending. Unfortunately, at that time the government decided to do nothing. Now, following the decision of the European Court the government is being forced to review the legal position.

To read the IER’s 2004 submission on BNP infiltration click here.

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