Kurt v Austria: A missed chance to tackle intersectional discrimination and gender-based stereotyping in domestic violence cases

By Lisa Maria Weinberger*

On 15 June 2021, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rendered its judgment on the domestic violence case Kurt v Austria. This case concerned a woman in Austria who experienced domestic violence at the hands of her husband, which resulted in his murdering their son. Based on a highly divisive ten to seven Court decision, the majority of the Grand Chamber endorsed the preceding Chamber’s assessment and rejected the applicant’s claim of an Article 2 violation of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) on account of the authorities’ failure to ensure the protection of her son’s life from his violent father. Nevertheless, important general principles regarding domestic violence were clarified.

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Age and Gender Discrimination: Laudable Anti-Stereotyping Reasoning in Carvalho Pinto v. Portugal

Those interested in stereotyping and intersectional discrimination might not want to miss the Court’s judgment in Carvalho Pinto de Sousa Morais v. Portugal. The compensation awarded domestically to a 50-year-old woman who could not have sexual relations after a failed operation was reduced, partly, because of age and gender stereotypes. After rejecting the use of gender stereotypes of women as primary child-carers in Konstantin Markin v. Russia, the Court now condemns the use of stereotypes about female sexuality in domestic judicial reasoning. In this post, I briefly discuss two points the judgment made me think about: the need for comparison in discrimination cases and implicit stereotyping.

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