The Court of Appeal has held in R (SC & others) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & others, EHRC intervening [2019] EWCA Civ 615 that the provisions of the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 which imposed a limit of two on the number of children born after 6 April 2017 in respect of whom the individual element of child tax credit or universal credit could be claimed did not engage the appellants’ rights under ECHR art.8 and art.12. The admittedly greater impact of the measure on women and the difference in treatment between families according to whether there were more than two children in the family fell within the ambit of art.14, read with Protocol 1 art.1 and art.8, but the measure pursued legitimate aims and the difference in treatment was not a manifestly disproportionate means of pursuing those aims and was objectively justified.

Richard Drabble QC acted for the Appellants and Galina Ward (led by Sir James Eadie QC) acted for the Government.

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