Strasbourg Observers
  • Merel Vrancken

Breaking the ‘circle of marginalisation’ through desegregation measures: X and Others v. Albania

July 01, 2022

By Merel Vrancken In the recent case of X and Others v. Albania on the segregation of Roma and Egyptian pupils in education, the ECtHR speaks up strongly against the wrongs of segregation, fifteen years after the Grand Chamber had first done so in the case of D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic. The […]

  • Dirk van Zyl Smit

R v. Bissonnette: Supreme Court of Canada builds on ECtHR precedents to outlaw whole life imprisonment, and develops principles applicable also to extradition that may lead to such sentences.

June 28, 2022

By Dirk van Zyl Smit One of the most challenging responsibilities of courts all over the world is imposing the appropriate penalty on persons convicted of the most heinous crimes.  While penalties must reflect the need for denunciation, they must also respect human rights principles, lest they undermine the recognition of the fundamental human dignity […]

  • Christos Tsevas

Religious Conversion, Asylum Law and the ECtHR Case-Law: M.A.M. v. Switzerland

June 21, 2022

By Christos Tsevas In the case M.A.M. v. Switzerland, the ECtHR concluded that there would be a violation of Articles 2 and 3 of the ECHR if the applicant were returned to Pakistan in the absence of a thorough and rigorous ex nunc assessment by the Swiss authorities of the general situation of Christian converts […]

  • Cathérine Van de Graaf

Belgium reprimanded in Anderlecht Christian Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Others: the procedure for recognition of a religion lacks minimum guarantees of fairness

June 14, 2022

By Cathérine Van de Graaf Anderlecht Christian Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Others v. Belgium is one of these judgments where you are reading the reasoning of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter: Court or ECtHR) and you think you know the direction it is going, but it then takes a turn that nobody […]

  • Nona De Dier

Sabani v. Belgium: on handcuffs and home intrusions

June 09, 2022

By Nona De Dier In Sabani v. Belgium, the Court assessed whether an intrusion into the home of an undocumented immigrant with the aim of removing her from the national territory constitutes a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In Sabani’s case, the lack of an appropriate legal basis […]

  • Anne-Katrin Speck

Russia and the Strasbourg Court: evidentiary challenges arising from Russia’s expulsion from the Council of Europe

June 02, 2022

[This post first appeared on the DISSECT blog.] Introduction It has been three months since Europe woke up to the horrific news that Russia had launched a brutal invasion of neighbouring Ukraine—two months during which Ukraine has seen immeasurable suffering and destruction, and two months which have dramatically changed Europe’s human rights landscape. It is […]

  • Vera Wriedt

Expanding exceptions? AA and others v North Macedonia, systematic pushbacks and the fiction of legal pathways

May 30, 2022

By Vera Wriedt The closure of the Greek-Macedonian border on 8 March 2016 entailed systematic pushbacks. The largest operation occurred on 14-15 March 2016, when more than 1500 refugees were summarily returned from North Macedonia to Greece. The complaint of AA and others v North Macedonia addressed this large-scale pushback operation. However, instead of condemning […]

  • Cecilia Rizcallah and Elisabeth David

The Polish Judicial Reforms under the Grand Chamber’s Scrutiny: Much Fog About Nothing? A comment of Grzęda v. Poland

May 26, 2022

By Cecilia Rizcallah and Elisabeth David On 15 March 2022, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (hereafter “the Court”) found Poland in violation of Article 6(1) (right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“ECHR”) in the case of Grzęda v. Poland. There have […]

  • Strasbourg Observers

Proving minority: the Human Rights Centre and CESSMIR submit a third party intervention regarding age assessment of unaccompanied minors

May 23, 2022

By Mathilde Brackx and Laura Cools The Human Rights Centre of Ghent University (Belgium) and the Centre for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees (CESSMIR) recently submitted a third-party intervention (TPI) before the European Court of Human Rights in the communicated case of Fatoumata Diaraye BARRY v. Belgium. The case concerns a decision of […]

  • Valentina Golunova

Manannikov v. Russia: The Final Nail in the Coffin of Political Dissent?

May 18, 2022

By Valentina Golunova 24 February marked a turning point in modern history: Russia barbarously attacked Ukraine. Apart from other drastic implications, including the expulsion of Russia from the Council of Europe, the war set off a new wave of political repression within a country. Russian political activists and opposition figures have been persecuted for taking […]

  • Frederick De Cock

Discrimination based on trade union membership: Zakharova and others v. Russia

May 12, 2022

By Frederick De Cock In the case of Zakharova and others v. Russia, the ECtHR ruled against Russia on its failure to fulfil its positive obligations to ensure effective and clear judicial protection against discrimination on grounds of trade union membership. Despite the fact that the applicants demonstrated a prima facie case of discrimination, the […]

  • Stijn Smet

First violations in a COVID-19 case: Communauté genevoise d’action syndicale (CGAS) v. Switzerland

May 09, 2022

by Stijn Smet Communauté genevoise d’action syndicale (CGAS) v. Switzerland is the first COVID-19 case (that I am aware of) in which the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has found a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In CGAS, the Court rules that an absolute ban on public manifestations, which remained […]

  • Natasa Mavronicola

Torture, Inhumanity and Degradation Under Article 3 of the ECHR: Absolute Rights and Absolute Wrongs

May 06, 2022

An interview with Natasa Mavronicola, author of Torture, Inhumanity and Degradation Under Article 3 of the ECHR: Absolute Rights and Absolute Wrongs (Hart, 2021). Questions by Corina Heri.

  • Jens T. Theilen

Rethinking European Consensus, Reimagining Human Rights

May 05, 2022

An interview with Jens T. Theilen, author of European Consensus between Strategy and Principle: The Uses of Vertically Comparative Legal Reasoning in Regional Human Rights Adjudication (Nomos, 2021). Questions by Natasa Mavronicola.

  • Corina Heri

Responsive Human Rights? The Notion of Vulnerability in Human Rights Law

May 04, 2022

An interview with Corina Heri, author of ‘Responsive Human Rights. Vulnerability, Ill-treatment and the ECtHR‘ (Hart, 2021). Questions by Jens T. Theilen. Jens Theilen: Let’s start out with the concepts at the heart of your book. One crucial notion is that of vulnerability, of course. Another is the notion of responsiveness – it features less […]

  • Eva Brems

Introduction to blog symposium: Three recent monographs on the European Convention on Human Rights

May 03, 2022

By Eva Brems Strasbourg Observers is happy to host a blog symposium that presents three recent monographs featuring in-depth research on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. All three were written by young scholars.  Corina Heri is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Zürich; Jens Theilen is a research associate […]

  • Jessica Gavron

The ECtHR and the Russian Foreign Agents’ Law – a devastating case of judicial passivity  

April 28, 2022

By Jessica Gavron The traumatic saga of the liquidation of International Memorial and Memorial Human Rights Centre (MHRC), has been subsumed by the even more shocking events that have followed. However, the liquidation of these two renowned and revered human rights institutions was a momentous event for civil society in Russia. For many, the elimination […]

  • Naomi Blomme

N. v. Romania (No. 2): ‘To be or not to be?’- applying Article 8 or Article 14 ECHR in mental-health cases

April 25, 2022

By Naomi Blomme In the case of N. v. Romania No. 2 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or the Court) found Romania to be in breach of its obligations under the Convention in respect of N. for the second time. Both cases relate to the treatment of mentally disabled persons. The first case […]

  • Yaman Akdeniz

The Calm Before the Storm? The Inadmissibility Decision in Wikimedia Foundation v. Turkey

April 18, 2022

On 24 March 2022, the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter ‘the European Court’) found the Wikimedia Foundation’s application inadmissible in relation to an access blocking decision involving Wikipedia, issued by a single judge in Turkey which lasted 2 years 8 months and 24 days. This article will provide a critical overview of the legal […]

  • Clare Ryan

Lee v. The United Kingdom: A Trend Toward Heightened Pleading Standards?  

April 11, 2022

By Clare Ryan Introduction In analogous cases across the Atlantic, cakeshop owners—and the customers they refused to serve—asked their nations’ highest courts: what is the proper balance between LGBTIQ[1] anti-discrimination protections and a business’ religious objections? In Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Lee v. Ashers Baking Co., the United States Supreme Court […]

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