Strasbourg Observers

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  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Elvira Loibl

Abdi Ibrahim v. Norway: A new Zeitgeist regarding (intercultural) adoptions at the ECtHR

April 11, 2022

By Elvira Loibl Introduction The case concerned the decision by the Norwegian authorities to allow the adoption of a child by a ‘Norwegian Christian’ foster family against the wishes of his mother, a Muslim Somali refugee. The judgment seems to reflect the new Zeitgeist regarding adoptions, which came to be viewed more critically within the […]

  • Pieter Cannoot

Y. v. Poland: ECtHR case law on gender recognition remains embedded in cisnormativity

April 07, 2022

By Pieter Cannoot On 17 February 2022, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of Y. v. Poland. The Court unanimously found no violation of Article 8 of the Convention (ECHR), and no violation of Article 14 taken together with Article 8. The case concerned a trans man who had […]

  • Dirk Voorhoof

OOO Memo v. Russia: ECtHR prevents defamation claims by executive bodies

April 01, 2022

By Dirk Voorhoof, Human Rights Centre UGent and Legal Human Academy The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has recently delivered a judgment in which, for the first time, it refers to the notion of SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation). In its judgment of 15 March 2022 in the case of OOO Memo v. […]

  • Daniel Krotov and Yannick Schoog

An Audacious Shortcut: The European Court of Human Rights’ New Approach to French “Wrongful Life” Cases

March 25, 2022

By Daniel Krotov and Yannick Schoog On 3 February 2022, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR; the Court) handed down yet another judgement on compensation for a child’s erroneously undetected disability in the aftermaths of the French “loi anti-Perruche”. Over 15 years after Draon and Maurice, the Court reached a similar conclusion but opted for a […]

  • Aurélie Van Baelen

Interim measures by the European Court of Human Rights in the Ukrainian conflict: United against the Russian aggression

March 22, 2022

By Aurélie Van Baelen On the early morning of 24 February 2022, when Russian tanks crossed the border into Ukraine, brutally invading sovereign territory, Europe entered a new era. After weeks of build-up tensions alongside the Russian-Ukrainian border, and the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, the Russian President dared to do what many feared, but hoped he would […]

  • Philip Leach

A Time of Reckoning? Russia and the Council of Europe

March 17, 2022

By Philip Leach [i] The brutal, unprovoked and illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine, which started on 24 February 2022, has resulted in the swift utilisation of the machinery of international law. Ukraine itself instigated proceedings at the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. On 28 February, Karim Khan QC, the […]

  • Sarah Ganty

Surrogacy as citizenship deprivation in S.-H. v. Poland

March 14, 2022

By Sarah Ganty One might expect that with the emphasis placed on the best interests of the child in recent years (even decades), the issue of surrogacy would not be so haphazardly approached by the ECtHR. And yet the patchwork quilt of protection afforded to children (and their parents) born from surrogacy is strikingly insufficient, […]

  • 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. […]

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