P.C. v Ireland

European Court of Human Rights, Fifth Section (App. No. 26922/19), [2022] ECHR 26922/19, 1 September 2022

The ECtHR rejected a claim that the non-payment to the applicant of his state pension while he was in prison breached Article 14 read with A1P1. The Court rejected the claim that the disparate impact the rule had on the applicant, as someone with no other source of income, related to a “status” for the purposes of Article 14, ruling at §79 that “The different impact that the disqualification had on prisoners with and without other social security entitlements or other forms of income is not related to an aspect of their personal status”. It accepted that being a prisoner could amount to a status but denied that he was similarly situated, for the purposes of an Article 14 claim, with non-convicted persons detained in psychiatric institutions who were “patients, not prisoners” (§85). Nor was he similarly situated with prisoners held on remand who were entitled to continued payment of state pensions (§92) in view of the entitlement of remand prisoners to be presumed innocent.