593. Proportionality.

Even if differential treatment pursues a legitimate aim1 it violates Article 14 unless there is a reasonable relationship of proportionality between the means employed and the aim sought to be realised2. When considering proportionality, the ground of discrimination relied upon will be highly relevant: a number of classifications require 'very weighty reasons' to justify a difference in treatment3 including race, colour and ethnic origin4, legitimacy5, sex6, religion7, nationality8, and sexual orientation9. The margin of appreciation afforded to states will be very narrow indeed in relation to such 'suspect' categories: however a wider margin has been granted in relation to