European Court refuses to consider peace tax case
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has refused to consider an application by peace campaigners seeking to pay taxes without paying for war.
The Court has told lawyers acting for the group, the Peace Tax Seven, that their application "did not disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms set out in the [European] Convention."
The group's case was first heard in the British High Court in 2005, and was
referred to Strasbourg on appeal.
Members of the group have campaigned internationally, addressing the UN Human Rights Committee and played a key role in the foundation of an international committee of legal experts on conscientious objection and peace tax.
While the Court's decision ends the group's legal campaign they are determined to continue their campaign and are considering their next move.
Robin Brookes, a member of the group, said: "We are deeply disappointed that the Court has not even given a full explanation of its decision not to hear the arguments, and we are, of course, frustrated with the apparent lack of regard shown for 20 years of legal change and development on the issue. The Court's decision plays into the hand of those who - unlike us - argue that effective campaigning requires a disregard for the law of the land, but we remain committed to working by every legitimate means towards a world in which taxpayers' money is spent to ensure peace by addressing the underlying causes of war, rather than neglecting these causes and prolonging the cycles of violence."
An increasing number of experts argue that peace and security are best procured through proactive, nonviolent peacebuilding and conflict prevention instead of, or as well as, violent conventional military reactions to preventable crises. The Peace Tax Seven are supported by Conscience, the Peace Tax Campaign.
Conscience: the Peace Tax Campaign
+44-207 561 1061
Treasurer, Peace Tax Seven
Woodlands, Ledge Hill
Wiltshire SN10 4NW