Nadia Eweida is reported to be considering taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights, after the Supreme Court refused to give her permission to appeal against the decision that her employer had not discriminated against her on religious grounds in refusing to allow her to wear a cross visibly at work.

Audrey Williams, partner and head of discrimination law at international law firm Eversheds comments:

“Any complaint to the European Court of Human Rights will be against the State rather than Ms Eweida’s employer. This will shift the focus to the issue of whether UK legislation is adequate to protect employees’ rights to manifest their religion.”

“Although the right to manifest one’s religion is protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, it is not an absolute right. This means that an interference with the right can be justified in certain circumstances and any case before the Human Rights Court will have to grapple with the difficult question of where the line should be drawn. Past cases based on human rights law suggest Ms Eweida will not find it easy to persuade the Court that there was an unjustified infringement of her rights when the option of resigning was available to her if she felt strongly about manifesting her religion in this way. But a final ruling will be a long time coming as the case could take years to be determined.”