Strasbourg Observers

View posts from: Stereotypes

  • 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 […]

  • 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

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 […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

The Court offers protection to those who have a disability and are in detention (Jasinskis v. Latvia & Raffray Taddei v. France)

January 04, 2011

In the most recent round of judgments, squeezed in just before the festive season, are two interesting cases concerning the detention of persons with a disability: Jasinskis v. Latvia and Raffray Taddei v. France. These two cases are exemplary of many others, in which people with a disability are held in detention in appalling conditions. […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

“The special social role of women”: the Strasbourg Court does not buy it (Konstantin Markin v. Russia)

October 14, 2010

Last week, the Court delivered what might well turn out to be a landmark judgment on the issue of sex discrimination; Konstantin Markin v. Russia. The facts seem simple enough: a military serviceman was not entitled to the same parental leave as a military servicewoman would have had in his case. A classic discrimination case. […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Child maintenance and gender stereotypes: understanding J.M. v. the UK

October 11, 2010

A recent case, J.M. v. the United Kingdom, startled our research team. The case concerns a British child support rule that is at first glance counter-intuitive. The rule, from the Child Support Act 1991, states that the parent who does not have the primary care of the children is required to pay child support. So […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

In a school ALL pupils should be king! An example of segregation in a Belgian school.

September 17, 2010

From a minority perspective, this week was not a good week in Belgium. On Wednesday, a television broadcast proved that employment agencies cooperate actively with employers who don’t want to hire people with a foreign background (in Belgium the so-called “allochtonen”). An undercover journalist who posed as an employer searching for new employees, asked the […]

  • 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 […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

A Strasbourg victory for the mentally disabled

May 21, 2010

The Strasbourg Court (Second Section) came out with a landmark judgment yesterday; Kiss v. Hungary. The applicant, Mr. Kiss, suffers from manic depression. Due to this condition he was placed under partial guardianship in 2005. In 2006, with the elections coming up, he realized that the Hungarian law forbade him to vote, as all persons […]

  • 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 […]

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