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14 Edinburgh L. Rev. 141 (2010)
Glor v. Switzerland: Article 14 ECHR, Disability and Non-Discrimination

handle is hein.journals/edinlr14 and id is 141 raw text is: This case highlights a tension in the treatment of mentally disordered offenders in
judicial processes. In court, psychiatric evidence should be given no greater weight
than other evidence when determining insanity or a plea in bar of trial. Neither a
jury nor a judge is bound by the evidence of the expert witnesses. In mental health
tribunals, psychiatric evidence is generally the only evidence, and tribunals may have
to choose between conflicting psychiatric evidence and at the same time wrestle with
how that evidence fits with what is new legislation. When the opinion of experts is
central to a judical hearing but the decision-makers can choose to ignore the expert
opinion, this raises questions as to who is more expert in interpreting legislation
that is applied daily in hospitals (but not in courts). The creation of the MHTS
and the inclusion of medical and general members (who have direct experience of
mental illness either professionally or personally) are clearly attempts to address these
tensions. However, this decision suggests that clarification of both the content of
experts' evidence and the decision-making of the MHTS is needed.
Clare Connelly,
University of Glasgow
Nicola Hodelet
Ailsa Hospital, Ayr
The authors wish to thank Edward McHugh for his helpful comments on earlier
drafts.
EdinLR Vol 14 pp 141-146
DOI: 10.3366/E136498090900105X
Glor v Switzerland: Article 14 ECHR, Disability
and Non-Discrimination
The decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Glor v Switzerland,' which
has significant implications for persons with physical and mental disabilities,2 is to
be welcomed. Sven Glor, a Swiss national, suffered from diabetes and was declared
unfit for Swiss military service, despite his expressed willingness to engage in it.3
According to Swiss case law, persons not engaging in military service but assessed as
being at least 40% disabled were not liable to pay the substantial military-service tax.4
Mr Glor was assessed as falling below this threshold. His appeal against this, claiming
1 App No 13444/04, 30 Apr 2009.
2 See Mental Disability Advocacy Center, Three disability 'firsts' in a European Court of Human Rights
case, 2 Jun 2009 (available at http://Www.mdcac.info/en/node/187).
3 His type of diabetes did not, however, prevent him from working as a lorry driver.
4 E 477 per year for the duration of the compulsory service period (at least eight years).

Vol 14 2010

141

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