Strasbourg Observers

The Best and Worst ECtHR judgments of 2016 are…

February 28, 2017

Dear readers,

We are happy to announce the results of our poll on the best and worst ECtHR judgment of 2016. For an overview of the shortlist of candidates, including a motivation for selecting them, see our previous blog post published on the occasion of the opening of the polls.

In light of the recent Oscars ceremony fiasco, we have made sure to double-check all votes. In the category of best judgment, the winner is… Paposhvili v. Belgium!

Paposhvili v. Belgium: 29%

Çam v. Turkey: 20%

B.A.C. v. Greece: 15%

Paposhvili and B.A.C. respectively concern the expulsion of a seriously ill person and the prolonged precarious situation of an asylum seeker. The high amount of votes for both cases indicates the topical nature of questions of asylum and migration law, as well as the fact that our readers clearly appreciate it when the Court steps in to provide leadership in this area. Çam, in turn, is a landmark judgment in the area of disability rights.

As there is always room for improvement, we also created a category of worst judgment. In this category, the winner is… G.J. v. Spain!

G.J. v. Spain: 39%

Karapetyan and others v. Armenia: 19%

Garib v. the Netherlands: 10%

For the first time, an inadmissibility decision is declared the winner – or should I say, loser – in the category of worst ECtHR judgment or decision. Hopefully, the landslide victory of G.J. will prompt the Court to be more aware of the fact that a restrictive application of its inadmissibility criteria may create loopholes in the protection of human rights in Europe. Karapetyan and Garib respectively concern issues of freedom of expression of civil servants and freedom of residence of persons living in poverty. Since Garib has been referred to the Grand Chamber, the votes for this case may also be interpreted as encouragement for the Grand Chamber to rule differently.

Thanks a lot for voting, we already look forward to next year’s poll! Hopefully, 2017 will be a year in which the Court continues to deliver lots of good judgments and in which it issues not a single bad one, discarding the need to organize two polls next year.

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