Tunley to Appear in European Court of Human Rights

On September 2, 2009, Stockwoods lawyer Phil Tunley will attend before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France at the re-hearing of the case of Carson and others v United Kingdom, App No. 42184/05. This hearing before the 17-judge Grand Chamber is one of only two cases this year (out of 70 requests) to proceed to such a re-hearing. The case involves a claim of discrimination against expatriate British pensioners by the UK Government, which denies the normal inflation adjustments to their contributory state pensions once they emigrate to live in Canada and certain other countries. The claim highlights age-related, family-related, and other discriminatory impacts of this scheme on British pensioners in Canada, Australia, South Africa, and other “frozen” countries, as compared to pensioners living in the UK or in “unfrozen” countries such as the United States.

Since 2000, Phil has been acting on a pro bono basis for the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners and certain individual Applicants, in the pursuit of this claim through the UK courts, up to the House of Lords and then to the Fourth Section of the ECHR in 2008. Despite strongly supportive dissenting judgments in both those courts, the claim has not yet been upheld. At this hearing, Phil will be supporting counsel Timothy Otty, Q.C., of 20 Essex Street Chambers, in a final legal bid to obtain pension parity for all expatriate British pensioners.