Strasbourg Observers

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  • Laurens Lavrysen

Strasbourg Court condemns Belgian internment policy

December 22, 2011

On 6 December 2011, the European Court of Human Rights found the Belgian internment policy to be in breach of the ECHR. The case of De Donder and De Clippel v. Belgium concerned Tom De Clippel, a mentally ill person who had committed suicide while interned in an ordinary prison. Under Belgian law, internment (“internering” / […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

The Strasbourg Court and the Arab Spring

December 12, 2011

International politics are never far away in cases dealing with the extradition of individuals to third countries. In the case of Al Hanchi v. Bosnia and Herzegovina the European Court of Human Rights was confronted with an extradition of a so-called foreign mujahedin to Tunisia. Until now, the Court had a clear stance. The deportation […]

  • Laurens Lavrysen

French Roma policy violates European Social Charter

December 06, 2011

In a decision of 28 June (COHRE v. France, no. 63/2010), which was only recently made public, the European Committee of Social Rights has found the French zero tolerance policy towards East European Roma living in illegal camps to be in violation of the European Social Charter. The case, which was lodged by the NGO […]

  • Guest Blogger

Turkish Law Criminalising “Denigration of Turkish Nation” Overbroad and Vague

December 02, 2011

This guest post is co-authored by Rónán Ó Fathaigh and Chris Wiersma, two colleagues from the Human Rights Centre. More information on Rónán and Chris can be found on the website of the Center for Journalism Studies of Ghent University, here  In its recent Akçam v. Turkey judgment, the Second Section of the European Court […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Toward an Anti-Stereotyping Approach for the ECtHR

November 30, 2011

As part of our joint research project I have written an article on gender stereotyping and the ways this could be addressed by the European Court of Human Rights in its case law. Now I’m not sure whether flagging my own research is correct blog-etiquette, but I will take this opportunity to let you know […]

  • Guest Blogger

Deference or Substantive Resolution? The ECJ’s Brüstle Judgment on the Use of Human Embryos for Scientific Research

November 28, 2011

This post was co-authored by Wannes Van Hoof* and Stijn Smet. Recently, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) was asked to deliver a preliminary ruling on the use of human embryos for scientific research. The case concerned an application by Greenpeace, seeking annulment from the German courts of a patent held by Mr. Brüstle. The […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Court condemns forced sterilization of Roma woman

November 17, 2011

This post is co-authored by Lourdes Peroni and Alexandra Timmer The Court has recently ruled in V.C. v. Slovakia, a case brought by a Roma woman who complained that she was sterilized without her informed consent. The judgment is no doubt a landmark decision with crucial implications for women belonging to minority ethnic groups. In […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

S.H. and Others v Austria: margin of appreciation and IVF

November 09, 2011

In Austria, it is forbidden to use donated sperm or ova for in vitro fertilization (‘IVF’). Ovum donation is under all circumstances prohibited; sperm donation is only possible when the sperm is directly placed in the womb of a woman (in vivo artificial insemination). Two Austrian couples complained about this regulation; the first couple needs […]

  • Guest Blogger

Trafficking in Persons and the European Court of Human Rights

October 26, 2011

This guest post was written by Dr. Roberta Avellino. Dr. Avellino studied Law at the University of Malta where she graduated as Doctor of Laws. She has moreover obtained a Master of Laws in International Law following research on trafficking in persons, security governance and State responsibility. She has recently published an article on the […]

  • Maris Burbergs

Ambit and Scope of Article 8 in Citizenship Cases

October 23, 2011

In a recent judgment in the case of Genovese v. Malta the Court gave very few words when determining the scope and ambit of Article 8. The Court managed to exclude a right, find no violation and determine the scope in the same sentence, and, in contrary to previous citizenship cases, did not give one word […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Bah v UK: on immigration, discrimination and worrisome reasoning

October 12, 2011

This post was co-authored by Lourdes Peroni and Alexandra Timmer The Court recently ruled on the case of Ms. Bah, a Sierra Leonean woman with indefinite leave to remain in the UK, who asserted that she was discriminated against in the allocation of social housing. The Court’s reasoning in Bah v. UK gives ample food […]

  • Guest Blogger

Karttunen v. Finland: Child Pornography and Freedom of Expression

October 10, 2011

Today’s guest post was written by Rónán Ó Fathaigh, one of our colleagues at the Human Rights Centre. More information on Rónán can be found on the website of the Center for Journalism Studies of Ghent University, here. In a recent admissibility decision which has received scant attention, the European Court considered for the first […]

  • Maris Burbergs

The right to bury one’s relatives

October 06, 2011

In a recent judgement in the case of Girard v. France  (in French) the Court recognized a new right under Article 8 – the right to bury one’s relatives. This case involved three aspects of dealing with an individual’s remains under the Convention: returning the body to relatives, organizing and attending a funeral, and treatment […]

  • Guest Blogger

Stummer v. Austria: gradually moving towards a right to an old-age pension for working prisoners?

October 03, 2011

By Ingrid Leijten. Ingrid Leijten works as a Ph.D. fellow and teaching assistant at the Leiden University Faculty of Law, Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law. Her research interest lies in the development of the ECHR and the practice of the ECtHR in relation to the Member States’ policymaking. Stummer v. Austria deals with the […]

  • Weichie

A Poll on Palomo Sánchez

September 29, 2011

We are pleased to be organising our first poll to ask our readers about their opinion! The poll concerns the recent judgment of Palomo Sánchez v. Spain in which the Grand Chamber of the Court ruled that the Spanish courts had not failed their positive obligation to protect the freedom of expression of four employees […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

When is Family Life Family Life? A Look at Deportation Cases

September 27, 2011

In A.A. v. the United Kingdom, a recent case involving the deportation of a young Nigerian man, the Court faced, once again, the question whether relationships between adult children and parents/siblings amount to family life in deportation cases. The Court’s Fourth Section did not give a clear answer to this question. The 24-year-old applicant resided […]

  • Weichie

Blood Donations and the Permanent Exclusion of “Men Who Have Sex with Men”

September 20, 2011

In Belgium, as in many other European countries, homosexual men are not allowed to donate blood. To be more precise, not homosexual men are permanently excluded from donating blood, but “men who have sex with men”. “What’s in a name?”, you might ask. That is what I intend to find out in this post. Reasonable […]

  • Guest Blogger

Grand Chamber Judgment on Trade Union Freedom of Expression

September 14, 2011

This post is written by Rónán Ó Fathaigh* and Dirk Voorhoof** The Grand Chamber of the European Court issued a landmark judgment this week on trade union freedom of expression, concluding that the dismissal of trade union members for engaging in offensive and insulting expression in a union newsletter was not a violation of the […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Inter-American Commission praises ECtHR in a landmark decision on domestic violence

September 08, 2011

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights released its keenly anticipated merits report in the case of Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v United States a few weeks ago.  This was the first time a domestic violence survivor filed an international legal claim against the U.S.[1] The case has been extensively commented on elsewhere (see for example this […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Mainstreaming the Human Rights of Older Persons

September 05, 2011

After a long time of neglect, there is an increasing awareness and recognition of the human rights of older persons within the international human rights community. Several stakeholders have issued a call for a ‘UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons’. In a recent article in the Human Rights Law Review, entitled ‘The Human […]

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