The Trade Union Act 2016, the European Court of Human Rights and the “right to strike” under Article 11 of the European Convention

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Trade Union Act 2016 adds to the regulation of industrial action by introducing several new provisions to restrict lawful picketing and implements further stringent restrictions on the organisation of strike ballots, such as by enforcing new minimum turnout and threshold requirements. This article examines European Convention principles on a trade union’s right to take strike action (now implicit within art.11) with reference to this statute—which supplements the detailed and complex requirements trade unions must already adhere to in order to call lawful industrial action. Drawing on a review of jurisprudence concerning other signatory states and the suitable application of Convention doctrines (such as the “margin of appreciation”) this article demonstrates that these highly restrictive provisions are disproportionate limitations without contemporary justification under art.11(2). This analysis is undertaken in the context of the Strasbourg Court’s inconsistent and, at times, unwarranted and dismissive approach to trade union cases concerning the United Kingdom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-167
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Human Rights Law Review
Volume2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in European Human Rights Law Review following peer review. The definitive published version Charles Barrow, The Trade Union Act 2016, the European Court of Human Rights and the “right to strike” under Article 11 of the European Convention, 2018, is available online on Westlaw UK or from Thomson Reuters DocDel service. Licensed under CC BY NC licence.

Keywords

  • Ballots
  • European Court of Human Rights
  • Freedom of assembly and association
  • Justification
  • Margin of appreciation
  • Proportionality
  • Strikes
  • Trade unions

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