Strasbourg Observers

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  • Lourdes Peroni

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Freedom of Religion in France

July 05, 2011

Last week, the European Court ruled against France in a case concerning a tax demand claimed from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The amount: over 57.5 million Euros. In Association Les Témoins de Jéhovah c. France, the Court focuses on the impact of the taxation on the association’s main source of funding – and on its subsequent […]

  • Guest Blogger

Schmitz v. Germany and Mork v. Germany: Applause for the German Constitutional Court—Does ‘Dialogue’ Solve it All?

June 22, 2011

This guest post was written by Ingrid Leijten who works as a Ph.D. fellow and teaching assistant at the Leiden University Faculty of Law, Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law. Her main research interest lies in the development of the ECHR and the practice of the ECtHR in relation to the Member States’ policymaking.   […]

  • Maris Burbergs

Khodorkovskiy in a cage

June 20, 2011

In the case of Khodorkovskiy v. Russia the Court reaffirmed that placing a person in a cage during a trial if the person is not predisposed to violence or there are no serious security threats, is degrading and violates Article 3. The Court noted that the practice of placing a criminal defendant in a sort […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Live from Strasbourg: the hearing of Konstantin Markin v. Russia

June 08, 2011

Together with Lourdes and Stijn, I’ve just attended the Grand Chamber hearing in the case of Konstantin Markin v. Russia. We’ve blogged about this case here and here. Just to refresh your memory: the case concerns a military serviceman, Konstantin Markin, who was divorced from his wife and who had custody of their three young […]

  • Guest Blogger

R.R. v. Poland: health rights under Art. 8 ECHR

June 02, 2011

By Laurens Lavrysen* As Alexandra correctly noted in her post, R.R. v. Poland is a very interesting judgment. The focus of this post will lie on the general health rights implications of this judgment, which exceed the specific context of reproductive health. In the case of Tysiąc v. Poland (ECtHR 20 March 2007) the Court […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

R.R. v. Poland: of reproductive health, abortion and degrading treatment

May 31, 2011

The Court has released an important judgment in the area of reproductive health, R.R. v. Poland.  It is also a very interesting judgment, as it raises a complex set of issues connected to different fields of law. Our team had a lively debate about this case yesterday. It became clear that there are various ways […]

  • Weichie

“Living Together” and Diversity in Europe

May 19, 2011

The Council of Europe recently released a report on diversity in Europe, entitled “Living together: Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe”, drawn up by the ‘Group of Eminent Persons of the Council of Europe’. The report aims to  negotiate “the challenges arising from the resurgence of intolerance and discrimination in Europe”. It “assesses the […]

  • Guest Blogger

Absence of prior-notification requirement does not violate Article 8: Mosley v UK

May 11, 2011

Guest post by Rónán Ó Fathaigh, PhD candidate at Ghent University. For more information on Rónán, find him here. This week the Fourth Section of the European Court delivered its much anticipated judgment in Mosley v. the United Kingdom, which unanimously held that the absence of a prior-notification requirement on newspapers to give advance notice […]

  • Maris Burbergs

How significant is the ‘significant disadvantage” of the new admissibility criterion (Part II)?

May 09, 2011

It has been claimed[1] and it is also my understanding that human rights protect important aspects of a human life. The views on what are the important aspects may vary. The drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights put in their views; inspired by the rights in the Declaration, the European Convention was composed, […]

  • Maris Burbergs

How significant is the ‘significant disadvantage’ of the new admissibility criterion (Part I)?

May 04, 2011

In its decisions in the cases of Holub v. the Czech Republic and Bratři Zátkové, a.s. v. the Czech Republic the Court has unanimously declared the applications inadmissible. The Court used the new admissibility criterion to determine that.

  • Weichie

Freedom of Expression and the Right to Reputation: Human Rights in Conflict

May 02, 2011

As part of our research project I have written a paper on the conflict between freedom of expression and the right to reputation in the defamation case law of the European Court of Human Rights. The paper, based on an analysis of over 120 judgments and entitled “Freedom of Expression and the Right to Reputation: Human […]

  • Eva Brems

Belgium votes ‘burqa’ ban

April 28, 2011

Today, the Belgian Chamber of Representatives voted a ‘burqa ban’. It did the same thing a year ago, but the unexpected fall of the government prevented the law from entering into force then, as the bill had been evoked by the Senate. This time, it is for real. The text introduces in the criminal code […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

Happy anniversary!

April 26, 2011

Dear blog visitor, This month, it is a year ago that the blog gave birth to its first posts. 102 posts later, here we are! When we started this blog, we could only dream of the current results. 32,407 views in 2010 and already 22,504 for the first part of 2011. While in 2010 we […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Saying It Is Doing It (comments on the hearing in the case of Aksu v. Turkey)

April 19, 2011

The famous American feminist legal theorist Catherine MacKinnon argued that pornography is an act of subordination. In Only Words, she notes: “Social inequality is substantially created and enforced – that is, done – through words and images. . .  Elevation and denigration are all accomplished through meaningful symbols and communicative acts in which saying it […]

  • Guest Blogger

Rahimi v. Greece and the proceduralization of children’s rights

April 15, 2011

By Laurens Lavrysen* In the recent case of Rahimi v. Greece, the European Court of Human Rights had to rule over the detention and the lack of care of a 15 year old Afghan unaccompanied minor. At arrival in Greece, he was placed in detention for two days, after which he was abandoned to live […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Lautsi v. Italy: Possible Implications for Minority Religious Symbols

March 31, 2011

What are the implications of the recent landmark judgment in Lautsi for minority religious symbols in state school classrooms? At first sight, the Court seems to adopt a more open approach towards the presence of religious symbols in the school environment. On closer examination, however, this may not necessarily be the case. This post briefly […]

  • Weichie

Lautsi v. Italy: the Argument from Neutrality

March 22, 2011

Lautsi v. Italy was destined to achieve legendary status in the ECtHR’s case law. In fact, it became the stuff of legends long before the Grand Chamber’s judgment came out. Rarely has a judgment of a supranational court put such a spell on people. Rarely has it inspired such passionate comments and speculation even before […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Kiyutin v. Russia: landmark case concerning the human rights of people living with HIV

March 21, 2011

Recently, the Court came down with a judgment that strongly condemns the stigmatization of people living with HIV. Kiyutin v. Russia is, as far as I was able to ascertain, the first case in which the Court rules on the merits of a claim of discrimination on the ground of a person’s HIV-positive status. Straight […]

  • Guest Blogger

Aydin v. Germany or the Strasbourg Court’s faint reasoning in a case of political dissent

March 17, 2011

Today’s guest post was written by Hannes Cannie, PhD candidate at the Human Rights Centre of Ghent University. Further information on Hannes, including a list of his publications, can be found here. In Aydin v. Germany (27 January 2011) the Fifth Section of the Strasbourg Court held with six votes to one that the applicant’s […]

  • Weichie

Mgn Limited v. the United Kingdom: Naomi Campbell v. the Tabloid Press

March 14, 2011

Mgn Limited v. the United Kingdom concerned several articles published in 2001 in the tabloid Mirror (now Daily Mirror), revealing that supermodel Naomi Campbell was attending Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings in an attempt to treat her drug addiction. The articles were accompanied by several photographs, including one in which Ms. Campbell was seen standing in […]

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