Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 18:28:29 CDT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: MichaelP <>
Subject: Brits expect adverse Euro-ruling re: gypsy discrimination

Government braced for rights ruling on Gypsies

By Frances Gibb, London Times, 23 September 1996

THE Government is preparing for the prospect of another adverse ruling in the European Court of Human Rights this week over its treatment of Gypsies.

The Strasbourg court is to give its decision in a test case over Britain's planning laws which the European Commission of Human Rights has already ruled are a violation of the Gypsies' right to enjoy their traditional way of life. Some 50 cases are in the pipeline awaiting the outcome of the Strasbourg challenge, the first gypsy case ever to go to the European Court.

It has been brought by June Buckley, a single mother of three, over her attempt to obtain permission to live in a caravan on land she owns on the outskirts of Willingham, Cambridgeshire. If she wins, the case would have wide ramifications for the 350,000-strong gypsy population which has in recent years faced increasingly restrictive laws on where it can reside.

Mrs Buckley's attempt to gain planning permission for her family to live in three caravans on the site she has owned since 1988 was turned down by South Cambridgeshire District Council in 1991. Before that she had no fixed abode.

She was prosecuted and fined for living there; but since the lodging of the court case, the council has taken no further action. In February 1992 she took her case to the European Commission of Human Rights—the first hurdle in bringing a challenge—and this found in her favour by seven to five, ruling that the council had violated her right to a family life.