Strasbourg Observers

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  • Lourdes Peroni

Remembering Lautsi

May 10, 2010

“When is a cross a cross?” was the heading of a post by Stanley Fish earlier this month in the NY Times Opinionator Blog. The entry referred to US Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Salazar v. Buono concerning a solitary Latin cross standing in the Californian desert as a memorial for those who fought in […]

  • Maris Burbergs

The chilling effect of 690, 000 euro

May 06, 2010

In the case of Handölsdalen Sami Village and Others v. Sweden the applicants argued that legal costs at a national level that amounted to 690, 000 euro were in breach of the right to access to court under Article 6. The applicants were four Swedish Sami villages. The case concerned domestic proceedings about a disputed […]

  • Guest Blogger

Dutch Holocaust cartoon case: a valuable lesson for the Strasbourg Court?

May 05, 2010

This guestblog is written by our colleague Hannes Cannie* The criminal tribunal of Utrecht (the Netherlands) has rendered an interesting judgment (22 April 2010) in a case in which an alleged discriminatory cartoon was at stake. The Dutch branch of the Arab European League (hereafter, AEL), a movement in Belgium and the Netherlands that aims […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Would a Niqab and Burqa ban pass the Strasbourg test?

May 04, 2010

By Lourdes Peroni, Saïla Ouald-Chaib and Stijn Smet Whether it is a Burqa or a Niqab, what is at stake is a face-covering veil. This veil is increasingly becoming the subject of heated discussion within Europe. In France, a bill that aims to prohibit its wearing is the subject of a national debate. Also at […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

Mustafa and Armağan Akin v. Turkey: Not above children’s heads!

April 29, 2010

The bulk of the cases appearing before the European Court of Human Rights concern length of proceeding cases that might not always be interesting for the public because of their technical character. However in a lot of other cases, the Court is  confronted with very shocking facts. Cases of torture by public authorities, but also […]

  • Weichie

Of Rights and Interests

April 28, 2010

On 30 March 2010 the European Court of Human Rights released its judgment in the case of Petrenco v. Moldova. The case concerned a newspaper article in which negative remarks were made about the applicant’s competence as a historian. The article further alleged that the applicant, a university professor and Chairman of the Association of […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Missed Chance at Condemning Paternalism: S.H. and others v. Austria, Part Two

April 26, 2010

In a previous entry, Stijn commented on the case of S.H. and others v. Austria (see ‘How the outcome can be good, but the reasoning sloppy’). I agree with him on both counts; the outcome in S.H. is to be applauded, but the Court’s reasoning lacks bite. At issue was the Austrian Artificial Procreation Act […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Prisoners’ voting rights and the rule of law

April 25, 2010

Once again, the Court has been called upon to decide on a case regarding prisoners’ disenfranchisement. In Frodl v. Austria, the applicant, convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, was denied inclusion in the electoral register on the basis of Section 22 of the National Assembly Election Act which provides that ‘anyone who has […]

  • Maris Burbergs

What is the European literary heritage?

April 12, 2010

In the case of Akdas v. Turkey the Court was called upon to decide on a seizure of a novel. But it turns out, this is not just a novel, it is something more. The applicant published a Turkish translation of the erotic novel “Les onze mille verges” by the French writer Guillaume Apollinaire, which […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

Are some expressions more equal than others?

April 12, 2010

Exactly one week ago, a lecture was organized at the Belgian University of Antwerp with the following title: “(long) live God, away with Allah”. A group of fanatic Muslims were not pleased about this title and they called their members to attend the lecture. When the speaker started his lecture, the followers from the Islamic […]

  • Eva Brems

Zubczewski v Sweden: margin of appreciation as a blank check

April 12, 2010

An observer of the Strasbourg case-law should always remember to include the inadmissibility decisions in her research. The changes in the Court’s procedures, introducing committees of three judges and judges sitting alone, have made this more difficult (those decisions are not on HUDOC), yet at the same time have resulted in a situation in which […]

  • Weichie

How the outcome can be good, but the reasoning sloppy

April 12, 2010

The judgment delivered on 1 April 2010 in the case of S.H. and others v. Austria concerned the use of donors for in vitro fertilization (IVF). The applicants, two couples, wished to have children, but medical reasons impeded both couples from having them the biological way. They had no choice but to rely on IVF […]

  • Weichie

Judge ≠ mathematician

April 12, 2010

Note: following a helpful comment, this post has been edited to correct a mistake on my behalf. In this blog entry I would like to focus on the Court’s interpretation of the concept ’statistically relevant’. In Oršuš and others v. Croatia, the Court held the following regarding the statistical evidence adduced by the applicants: “These […]

  • Weichie

ECtHR v. Belgium on detention of children: part II

April 12, 2010

On 10 January 2010 the European Court of Human Rights released its judgment in the case of Muskhadzhiyeva and others v. Belgium, a case concerning the detention of minor asylum seekers in a closed detention centre. The applicants in Muskhadzhiyeva and others were five Chechnyans: a mother and her four minor children. Following the dismissal […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

Is a more inclusive wind blowing through the Court?

April 12, 2010

Recently the European Court of Human Rights issued an interesting judgment in a case concerning a Roma Marriage. (Muñoz Diaz v. Spain, 8 December 2009) Muñoz Diaz and M.D. married in 1971 according to Roma traditions. This marriage was recognized by the Roma community. When her husband died, Muñoz Diaz applied for a survivor’s pension, […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

“What’s in a – Kurdish – name?”

April 12, 2010

One of the consequences of Kemal Attaturk’s reforms was that Kurdish people in Turkey were not able to speak their own language and consequently they were not able to carry own Kurdish names. Recently this changed. However, the Kurds still face problems with the registration of their names, as they are bound to the Turkish […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Religion and the Public Space

April 12, 2010

Once more, the Court has been called to decide on a case concerning the public manifestation of beliefs through religious attire, this time in the open public square (Ahmet Arslan et Autres c. Turquie). The outcome is certainly positive. However, prospects for the wearing of religious garment inside public institutions are far from clear. The […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

The Convention, the Church and Child Abuse

April 12, 2010

The torrent of recent accusations of child abuse my members of the Catholic Church has included the Netherlands. In the past weeks, the Dutch newspapers have been full of horrendous stories of sexual abuse of children by priests. Now, a newspaper reports that lawyers from a foundation that supports the rights of victims of sexual […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

R.C. v. Sweden: the burden of proof in asylum cases

April 12, 2010

Sweden is recently convicted by the European Court of Human Rights in the CASE OF R.C v. SWEDEN concerning an Iranian asylum seeker. On 9 march 2010 the Court issued a judgment where it held by six votes to one that the deportation of the applicant to Iran would consist a violation of article 3 […]

  • Weichie

Strasbourg dances around the Cypriot question

April 12, 2010

Recently, the Strasbourg Court declared inadmissible a series of applications by Greek-Cypriot applicants claiming a violation of their property rights due to the continued occupation of the Northern part of Cyprus by Turkey. The eight admissibility cases were the first such applications to be examined by the Court following the pilot-judgment Xenides-Arestis v. Turkey (app. […]

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