Strasbourg Observers
  • Maïté De Rue

No priority access to Covid-19 vaccines for vulnerable groups in Bulgaria. The Open Society European Policy Institute files a complaint with the European Committee of Social Rights

March 09, 2022

By Maïté De Rue  The Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI, a branch of the Open Society Foundations network) submitted on 24 January 2022 a collective complaint against Bulgaria to the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), the body of the Council of Europe that monitors States’ compliance with the European Social Charter. OSEPI claims […]

  • Diana Dimitrova

Ekimdzhiev and Others v. Bulgaria: Secret Surveillance and Electronic Communications Surveillance Only with Adequate Safeguards, or Nothing New Under the Sun

March 02, 2022

By Diana Dimitrova Introduction In the past years, the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) has been asked numerous times to examine different aspects of the Council of Europe’s Member States’ (secret) surveillance regimes, ranging from (mass) secret surveillance against their own residents to bulk surveillance or interception of electronic communications coming from abroad. […]

  • Waleed Mahmoud Elfarrs

E.H. v. France: On a cold day in July

February 18, 2022

By Waleed Mahmoud Elfarrs 1. Introduction On 22 July 2021 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rendered a judgment that could be relevant to the presently sensitive topic of Western Sahara – E.H. v. France, application no. 39126/18. The first of its kind, the judgment concerns the expulsion of an asylum seeker of Sahrawi […]

  • Strasbourg Observers

Poll: Best and Worst ECtHR Judgment and Best Separate Opinion of 2021

February 16, 2022

Dear readers, As we step into the year 2022, we are taking the occasion to look back at 2021. It has been an eventful year: as President Spano points out in the Court’s Annual report, now is a crucial time for human rights law, between technological and societal advances, increasing polarisation and political upheaval, and […]

  • Germain Haumont

M.D. and A.D. v. France: milestone towards a principled prohibition on the immigration detention of children?

February 11, 2022

by Germain Haumont Introduction The historic position of the European Court of Human Rights (hereafter: “the Court” or “the ECtHR”) on the immigration detention of children is that such detention is compatible with the Convention where it is strictly necessary and adapted to children’s specific needs (see L. Cools, “L’enfermement d’enfants migrants à la lumière […]

  • Merel Vrancken

(Not) applying CRPD standards and the question of fair referencing: Toplak and Mrak v. Slovenia

February 08, 2022

By Merel Vrancken In the case of Toplak and Mrak v. Slovenia, two persons with muscular dystrophy complained that they had been discriminated against with respect to their right to vote because their polling stations had not been made fully accessible so as to ensure that they could vote fully independently and in secret. The […]

  • Harriet Ní Chinnéide

Avci v Denmark: The Expulsion of Settled Migrants and the Pitfalls of Process-based Review in Strasbourg

February 04, 2022

Avci v Denmark concerns an expulsion order and a permanent re-entry ban issued by the Danish High Court against Mr Avci, a settled migrant born and raised in Denmark. This judgment provides a clear illustration of the burgeoning trend towards process-based, procedural review by the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter ‘the Court’) –  a […]

  • Ellen Vandennieuwenhuysen

Savran v. Denmark: application of articles 3 and 8 ECHR against the removal of mentally ill foreigners

February 01, 2022

By Ellen Vandennieuwenhuysen On the 7th of December 2021, the Grand Chamber issued its long awaited judgement in the Savran-case, concerning the expulsion of a Turkish national with paranoid schizophrenia from Denmark. Contrary to the Chamber, the Grand Chamber found no violation of Article 3 ECHR, as the health risks did not reach the high […]

  • Dr. Cathérine Van de Graaf and Reza Khabook

Ali Riza v. Switzerland: No Jurisdiction for the Court of Arbitration for Sport?

January 28, 2022

By Dr. Cathérine Van de Graaf and Reza Khabook In this blogpost, we zoom in on the Chamber judgment of Ali Riza v. Switzerland. Some might recognise the name of the applicant. Indeed, on an earlier occasion, M. Ömer Kerim Ali Rıza (together with three amateur football players and one referee) brought a case against […]

  • Meri Baghdasaryan

Standard Verlagsgesellschaft MBH v. Austria (No. 3): Is the ECtHR standing up for anonymous speech online?

January 25, 2022

By Meri Baghdasaryan Standard Verlagsgesellschaft MBH v. Austria (No. 3) represents an interesting development in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’, ‘the Court’) on user-generated content and anonymous speech online. This case stands out as it concerns the liability of host providers for refusal to disclose anonymous user data for […]

  • Dr. Ramute Remezaite

Democracy and Human Rights Resource Centre and Mustafayev v Azerbaijan: the Court’s expanding Article 18 practice to confront states’ ulterior purposes

January 21, 2022

Dr. Ramute Remezaite[1] Introduction Article 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention), prohibiting the Council of Europe member states’ acting in bad faith, has been put under the spotlight by litigators and the Court in recent years, exposing ulterior practices by states. Azerbaijan’s particularly repressive context for civil society and the political […]

  • Toby Collis

Turan and Others v Turkey and the Limits of Judicial Policy to Address Judicial Overload

January 18, 2022

By Toby Collis Should the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’ or ‘the Court’) dispose of a complaint by resorting to judicial policy reasoning to prevent judicial overload? A recent decision of the Court – Turan and Others v Turkey – handed down on 23 November 2021, brings this issue into sharp focus, not due […]

  • Joyce de Coninck

MH and Others v. Croatia: Resolving the Jurisdictional and Evidentiary Black Hole for Expulsion Cases?

January 14, 2022

By Joyce de Coninck MH and Others v. Croatia concerns the return of a family of 14 Afghan individuals from Croatia to Serbia, which resulted in the death of 6-year-old Madina Hussiny. This case is yet another in a rich line of recent cases relating to the rise of institutionalized pushbacks at the external territorial […]

  • Ash Stanley-Ryan

J.C. and Others v. Belgium: the delicate balance of state immunity and human dignity

January 12, 2022

By Ash Stanley-Ryan International law walks a tightrope between the rights of sovereign States and the rights of those who comprise them. Tip too far to either side and the system breaks – sovereignty either becomes unbridled power, or becomes meaningless. This delicate balancing is most evident when sovereign power and human rights directly collide, […]

  • Jacob van de Kerkhof

Biancardi v. Italy: A Broader Right to Be Forgotten

January 07, 2022

By Jacob van de Kerkhof Introduction An interesting feature of European law, the right to be forgotten refers to a person’s right to have private information about them removed from internet searches and other directories. Long recognized in the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), more recently the right to be forgotten […]

  • Sjoerd Lopik

The Second Anniversary of the Urgenda Climate Ruling: A Day to Celebrate?

December 28, 2021

By Sjoerd Lopik Today marks the second anniversary of the Urgenda climate ruling of the Supreme Court (Hoge Raad) of the Netherlands (a translation of the ruling can be accessed here). With its ruling, the Supreme Court finalised the first case in which a national court issued a specific order to a government to reduce […]

  • Dr. Cathérine Van de Graaf & Yannick Schoog

Too Old to Deserve State Support? – Šaltinytė v. Lithuania: Age Discrimination in Socio-Economic Policy

December 22, 2021

By Dr. Cathérine Van de Graaf and Yannick Schoog Introduction On the 26th of October 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR; the Court) answered the question of whether or not a fixed age limit to qualify for a housing subsidy for ‘young families’ was discriminatory in the negative. The case of Šaltinytė v. […]

  • Kurt Xerri

Bartolo Parnis and Others v. Malta: rigid rent controls that violate property rights call for effective future remedies, not necessarily an eviction

December 17, 2021

Introduction Bartolo Parnis and Others v. Malta (Bartolo Parnis) is the last in a series of judgments in which Maltese landlords have been contesting before the ECtHR the remedy afforded to them by the domestic Constitutional Court, after concluding that strict rent controls were in breach of their property rights. The finding of such a […]

  • Naoual El Yattouti

Polat v. Austria: A Tale of Two Missed Opportunities

December 14, 2021

By Naoual El Yattouti In the case Polat v. Austria, the mother of a deceased child complained that the carrying out of a post-mortem despite her and her husband’s objections based on religious reasons, violated her rights under Articles 8, 9 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights (hereafter: the Convention). The European […]

  • Tobias Mortier

Miroslava Todorova v. Bulgaria: Bulgaria joins list of serious rule of law offenders

December 08, 2021

By Tobias Mortier Art. 18 is a peculiar provision in the rights catalogue of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘the Convention’). Only rarely is it invoked before the European Court of Human Rights (‘the Court’) – and a violation of it is even rarer. Up until now, the Court had only found violations of […]

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