Strasbourg Observers

The Best and Worst ECtHR judgments of 2017 are…

February 14, 2018

Dear readers,

About a month ago, we presented you with a shortlist of candidates for the awards of best and worst ECtHR judgments of 2017 (see our previous blog post). In the meantime, you, our readers have voted in massive numbers. It is our pleasure to announce the results of the poll today.

In the category of best judgment, the winner is… N.D. and N.T. v. Spain!

N.D. and N.T. v. Spain: 65.5 %

Carvalho Pinto de Sousa Morais v. Portugal: 10.5 %

Bayev v. Russia: 6.2 %

In the case of N.D. and N.T. v. Spain, the Court found that push-back operations at the Spanish border in the enclave of Melilla violated the right to an effective remedy and the prohibition of collective expulsion. Against the background of a humanitarian crisis caused by ever stricter border controls at the gates of Europe, the judgment is a clear signal that States cannot discard their human rights responsibilities vis-à-vis asylum seekers by building ever higher walls. As the case has been referred to the Grand Chamber, this landslide victory in the poll should not only be seen as a token of appreciation from our readers for the Chamber judgment, but also as an encouragement to the Grand Chamber to seize this opportunity to go against the tide and provide robust human rights protection for those in the most dire of need.

In the category of worst judgment, the winner is… the Dissenting opinion of Judge Dedov in Bayev v. Russia!

Dissenting opinion of Judge Dedov in Bayev v. Russia: 38 %

Burmych and Others v. Ukraine: 17.2 %

Garib v. the Netherlands: 13.6 %

The homophobic character of Judge Dedov’s dissenting opinion in the case of Bayev v. Russia, concerning Russia’s so-called gay propaganda law, was so shocking for our readers that it won the worst judgment award, despite it technically not being a judgment. This vote should be interpreted as a signal from our readers that the judges of the Court should be there to provide human rights protection for all, without distinction on any ground such as sexual orientation.

Thanks a lot to all of you who have participated in the poll! We do hope that this poll will encourage the Court to further strengthen the quality of its work in 2018.

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