Court rules that refusal to pay widow's allowance to common-law wife was lawful

The Northern Ireland Appeal Court has ruled that the Northern Ireland Department of Social Development did not unlawfully discriminate against a woman by denying her 'Widowed Parent's Allowance' on the grounds that she had not been her now-deceased cohabitant's wife or civil partner.

This overturns the High Court's February 2016 ruling that refusing the benefit to Siobhan McLaughlin was a breach of her human rights under Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights (McLaughlin, Re Judicial Review, 2016 NICA 53).

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