Tuesday April 23, 2024

Female heirs take UK to EU court over upper house law

July 17, 2018

LONDON: Five women have taken Britain to Europe’s top court over laws that prevent female heirs from standing for election to the upper house of parliament.

Most of the about 800 members of Britain’s House of Lords are appointed, but the chamber includes 90 so-called hereditary peers and when their positions become vacant a successor is elected from a small pool of people with aristocratic titles. The women, part of campaign group Daughters’ Rights, are challenging the ancient law of primogeniture, which dictates that such titles pass down through the male line - meaning only men are eligible to stand for election. “To give women the same political opportunities as men and remove this discrimination from the statue books, all we need to change the law is the removal of one word - ‘male’,” said Charlotte Pole, a spokeswoman for Daughters’ Rights.