As has been widely predicted, the ECHR has this morning ruled in favour of Jeanette Smith, Graeme Grady, Duncan Lustig-Prean and John Beckett in their cases against the Ministry of Defence.
The Court ruled unanimously that there had been a violation of article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and, in respect of two of the applications, article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the Convention.
The four applicants had been discharged from the armed services between
1993 and 1995 on grounds of homosexuality.
The government (Lord Robertson, Defence Secretary) has just announced that all disciplinary cases still pending against homosexuals will be put on hold, and that ministers will consult service chiefs on how to put the ECHR's decision into practice.
The full text of the ECHR's press release, summarising the grounds for the decision, is set out below.