In this short series of posts I have so far looked at the list, produced by Parliament, of Human Rights cases since 1975 (post here
+ list here
) and at the vitally important Article 2 (Right to Life)
of the European Convention on Human Rights. The impact of the European Convention on Human Rights (E Conv HR) on our domestic law has been considerable. This post looks at another area where there has been significant impact.
A major impact has been to require States to protect the Convention Rights of ALL
individuals and not just powerful majorities. Article 1 states clearly:
The High Contracting Parties shall secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in Section I of this Convention
There are no categories of individuals who are to be denied Convention rights no matter who they are or what they have done or may have done.
The illustrative case of Bellinger v Bellinger  UKHL 21
was concerned with the rights of transsexuals. In an 'over-simplified and question-begging form' the issue was whether a person could change the sex with which he or
she was born? More specifically, was Mrs Elizabeth Bellinger, validly married
to Mr Michael Bellinger since, of course, marriage was confined to persons of opposite sex.
The leading speech was that of Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead which is a masterful analysis of the development of the law relating to transsexualism and marriage. His Lordship noted