Strasbourg Observers

View posts from: Roma Rights

  • Corina Heri

Beg your Pardon!: Criminalisation of Poverty and the Human Right to Beg in Lăcătuş v. Switzerland

February 10, 2021

By Corina Heri, postdoctoral researcher at University of Zürich Begging can be framed in different ways. For city tourism officials, it’s a problem of branding. For local legislatures, it’s an opportunity to show a ‘tough on crime’ stance. For the people who beg themselves, begging can mean survival. But, until recently anyway, the European Court […]

  • Guest Blogger

X and Y v North Macedonia: A missed opportunity to improve the case law on anti-Roma custodial violence

January 27, 2021

By Emma Várnagy (Teaching Assistant at the Faculty of Law, Safety and Governance, The Hague University of Applied Sciences) The case of X and Y v North Macedonia (Application no. 173/17) concerns the beating of two Roma youths by the police and the subsequent inaction concerning the investigation of their ill-treatment. In fact, it has […]

  • Guest Blogger

The application of the European Convention on Human Rights to the case of Leonarda Dibrani

December 18, 2013

This guest post was written by Georgios Milios* On October 9 2013, Leonarda Dibrani, a 15-years old Roma girl, was arrested by the French police in front of her teachers and classmates and deported to Kosovo along with her parents and five siblings. Initially, it was argued that the family had left Kosovo some years ago seeking […]

  • Guest Blogger

Winterstein v France: the third-party perspective

November 25, 2013

This guest post was written by Judit Geller* and Adam Weiss** One month ago, the European Court condemned France under Article 8 for violating the rights of travellers (gens du voyage) by ordering their eviction (see the judgment here). The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) made written submissions as a third-party intervener four and a […]

  • Guest Blogger

Vona v Hungary: Freedom of association and assembly can be restricted to protect Minority Rights

August 07, 2013

This guest post was written by Judit Geller and Dezideriu Gergely, European Roma Rights Centre. In the case of Vona v Hungary, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) openly stood up against racism and hatred when it ruled that if an association’s activities amounts to widespread racist intimidation of a group then the association […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Forthcoming Publication on Vulnerable Groups in the Court’s Case Law

March 18, 2013

This post was written by Alexandra Timmer and Lourdes Peroni Alexandra and I are happy to announce the forthcoming publication of our joint Article “Vulnerable Groups: The Promise of an Emerging Concept in European Human Rights Convention Law.” The piece will be published in the International Journal of Constitutional Law – I•CON. In this Article, […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Horváth and Kiss v. Hungary: a strong new Roma school segregation case

February 06, 2013

The Strasbourg Court has once more delivered a judgment in a Roma school segregation case. The applicants in Horváth and Kiss v. Hungary are two young Roma men, who were diagnosed as having mild mental disabilities when they were children. As a result of these diagnoses, they were placed in a remedial school. Their education […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

The Court on Racial Discrimination (Part I): M. and Others v. Italy and Bulgaria

October 09, 2012

It’s fair to say that the Court’s record on racial discrimination is hesitant. Only as late as 2004 did the Court for the first time find that a State was guilty of racial discrimination.[1] This was in the Chamber judgment of Nachova v Bulgaria, which was later partly rescinded by the Grand Chamber in 2005. […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Roma Evictions Stopped in Strasbourg: Yordanova e.a. v. Bulgaria

May 08, 2012

This post is co-authored by Lourdes Peroni and Alexandra Timmer The recent case of Yordanova and others v. Bulgaria concerns a pressing human rights issue: the mass eviction of Roma from their houses. The Court shows itself a strong defender of socially disadvantaged groups who risk eviction from land that they have lived on for […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Stereotypes of Roma: Aksu v. Turkey in the Grand Chamber

March 20, 2012

 The Grand Chamber has handed down its much-awaited judgment in Aksu v. Turkey. This case concerns the use of derogatory stereotypical images of Roma in government-sponsored publications. The Grand Chamber holds with 16 votes to 1 that article 8 (right to private life) has not been violated. I have mixed feelings about the Court’s reasoning. […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Gypsy Way of Life “By Birth” or “By Choice”

February 22, 2011

This post is co-authored by Lourdes Peroni and Alexandra Timmer In an inadmissibility decision that might have gone unnoticed by many, the Court has recently ruled in an interesting case, Horie v UK. The case involves a “New Age Traveler” who complained of an impediment on her ability to pursue a nomadic way of life. […]

  • Weichie

Expulsion or mustard grass, the message is the same: “Roma, you are not welcome”

September 15, 2010

We have all read about the utterly unacceptable treatment of Roma by Sarkozy’s government. And while France holds firm to its “return policy”, thankfully the EU has not turned a blind eye to this discriminatory practice, violating both the freedom of movement within the EU and the prohibition of collective expulsions. First, the European Parliament […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Just words? (Aksu v. Turkey Part II)

September 02, 2010

My post on Aksu v. Turkey received some criticism for not taking the freedom of expression into account. A brief memory-aid: Aksu is the case of a man of Roma origin who complained about degrading stereotypical remarks made about Roma in government-sponsored publications. In a “dictionary for pupils” and a book entitled “The Gypsies of […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

The Power of Definition: Stereotypes of Roma in Aksu v. Turkey

July 29, 2010

The European Court of Human Rights just rendered a judgment on the issue of stereotyped images of Roma in government-funded publications in Turkey. I think the majority decision (4 to 3) lacks sustained analysis and requires problematization.  In the case of Aksu v. Turkey the applicant, mr Aksu, is of Roma origin. He complained about two […]