Irschik and ors. v. Austria
Human Rights Committee
Communication No. 990/2001
19 March 2004
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
Art. 26: Non-discrimination
Mr. Irschik complained on his behalf, and on that of his two sons, that his article 26 rights under the ICCPR had been violated. The complaint arose out of a decision of the Austrian Constitutional Court, which had found a tax law to be unconstitutional, but delayed the enforcement of its decision to give the State time to legislate in place of the impugned law. Mr. Irschik complained that the people who were parties to the case before the Constitutional Court had been exempt from the general delay on the implementation of decision, and that this was a form of discrimination. Mr. Irschik had already submitted his case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which had considered his complaint “manifestly ill-founded”. It was not until the complaint to the Human Rights Committee that the rights of Mr. Irschik’s sons were raised.
The Human Rights Committee considered the complaint inadmissible on two grounds. First, the fact that the ECHR had considered the case meant that the Human Rights Committee would not do so. Second, and of particular importance to the rights of the two children, the Committee would not consider a complaint arising in relation to persons that had not been raised in the previous domestic case. Since the rights of the children had not been specifically addressed at the national level, they could not be raised before the Committee.
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