Strasbourg Observers

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  • Nona De Dier

Sabani v. Belgium: on handcuffs and home intrusions

June 09, 2022

By Nona De Dier In Sabani v. Belgium, the Court assessed whether an intrusion into the home of an undocumented immigrant with the aim of removing her from the national territory constitutes a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In Sabani’s case, the lack of an appropriate legal basis […]

  • Vera Wriedt

Expanding exceptions? AA and others v North Macedonia, systematic pushbacks and the fiction of legal pathways

May 30, 2022

By Vera Wriedt The closure of the Greek-Macedonian border on 8 March 2016 entailed systematic pushbacks. The largest operation occurred on 14-15 March 2016, when more than 1500 refugees were summarily returned from North Macedonia to Greece. The complaint of AA and others v North Macedonia addressed this large-scale pushback operation. However, instead of condemning […]

  • Cecilia Rizcallah and Elisabeth David

The Polish Judicial Reforms under the Grand Chamber’s Scrutiny: Much Fog About Nothing? A comment of Grzęda v. Poland

May 26, 2022

By Cecilia Rizcallah and Elisabeth David On 15 March 2022, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (hereafter “the Court”) found Poland in violation of Article 6(1) (right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“ECHR”) in the case of Grzęda v. Poland. There have […]

  • Jessica Gavron

The ECtHR and the Russian Foreign Agents’ Law – a devastating case of judicial passivity  

April 28, 2022

By Jessica Gavron The traumatic saga of the liquidation of International Memorial and Memorial Human Rights Centre (MHRC), has been subsumed by the even more shocking events that have followed. However, the liquidation of these two renowned and revered human rights institutions was a momentous event for civil society in Russia. For many, the elimination […]

  • Naomi Blomme

N. v. Romania (No. 2): ‘To be or not to be?’- applying Article 8 or Article 14 ECHR in mental-health cases

April 25, 2022

By Naomi Blomme In the case of N. v. Romania No. 2 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or the Court) found Romania to be in breach of its obligations under the Convention in respect of N. for the second time. Both cases relate to the treatment of mentally disabled persons. The first case […]

  • Pieter Cannoot

Y. v. Poland: ECtHR case law on gender recognition remains embedded in cisnormativity

April 07, 2022

By Pieter Cannoot On 17 February 2022, the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of Y. v. Poland. The Court unanimously found no violation of Article 8 of the Convention (ECHR), and no violation of Article 14 taken together with Article 8. The case concerned a trans man who had […]

  • Kyriaki Patsianta

D.M. and N. v. Italy: individual measures in aid of biological parents in adoption proceedings

April 04, 2022

By Kyriaki Patsianta In the case of D.M. and N. v. Italy, the ECtHR found that there had been a violation of article 8 of the Convention in respect of the applicants, a mother also acting on behalf of her daughter, who alleged that the adoption procedure initiated by the Italian authorities in relation to […]

  • Daniel Krotov and Yannick Schoog

An Audacious Shortcut: The European Court of Human Rights’ New Approach to French “Wrongful Life” Cases

March 25, 2022

By Daniel Krotov and Yannick Schoog On 3 February 2022, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR; the Court) handed down yet another judgement on compensation for a child’s erroneously undetected disability in the aftermaths of the French “loi anti-Perruche”. Over 15 years after Draon and Maurice, the Court reached a similar conclusion but opted for a […]

  • Sarah Ganty

Surrogacy as citizenship deprivation in S.-H. v. Poland

March 14, 2022

By Sarah Ganty One might expect that with the emphasis placed on the best interests of the child in recent years (even decades), the issue of surrogacy would not be so haphazardly approached by the ECtHR. And yet the patchwork quilt of protection afforded to children (and their parents) born from surrogacy is strikingly insufficient, […]

  • Diana Dimitrova

Ekimdzhiev and Others v. Bulgaria: Secret Surveillance and Electronic Communications Surveillance Only with Adequate Safeguards, or Nothing New Under the Sun

March 02, 2022

By Diana Dimitrova Introduction In the past years, the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) has been asked numerous times to examine different aspects of the Council of Europe’s Member States’ (secret) surveillance regimes, ranging from (mass) secret surveillance against their own residents to bulk surveillance or interception of electronic communications coming from abroad. […]

  • Ellen Vandennieuwenhuysen

Savran v. Denmark: application of articles 3 and 8 ECHR against the removal of mentally ill foreigners

February 01, 2022

By Ellen Vandennieuwenhuysen On the 7th of December 2021, the Grand Chamber issued its long awaited judgement in the Savran-case, concerning the expulsion of a Turkish national with paranoid schizophrenia from Denmark. Contrary to the Chamber, the Grand Chamber found no violation of Article 3 ECHR, as the health risks did not reach the high […]

  • Meri Baghdasaryan

Standard Verlagsgesellschaft MBH v. Austria (No. 3): Is the ECtHR standing up for anonymous speech online?

January 25, 2022

By Meri Baghdasaryan Standard Verlagsgesellschaft MBH v. Austria (No. 3) represents an interesting development in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’, ‘the Court’) on user-generated content and anonymous speech online. This case stands out as it concerns the liability of host providers for refusal to disclose anonymous user data for […]

  • Sjoerd Lopik

The Second Anniversary of the Urgenda Climate Ruling: A Day to Celebrate?

December 28, 2021

By Sjoerd Lopik Today marks the second anniversary of the Urgenda climate ruling of the Supreme Court (Hoge Raad) of the Netherlands (a translation of the ruling can be accessed here). With its ruling, the Supreme Court finalised the first case in which a national court issued a specific order to a government to reduce […]

  • Dr. Cathérine Van de Graaf & Yannick Schoog

Too Old to Deserve State Support? – Šaltinytė v. Lithuania: Age Discrimination in Socio-Economic Policy

December 22, 2021

By Dr. Cathérine Van de Graaf and Yannick Schoog Introduction On the 26th of October 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR; the Court) answered the question of whether or not a fixed age limit to qualify for a housing subsidy for ‘young families’ was discriminatory in the negative. The case of Šaltinytė v. […]

  • Kurt Xerri

Bartolo Parnis and Others v. Malta: rigid rent controls that violate property rights call for effective future remedies, not necessarily an eviction

December 17, 2021

Introduction Bartolo Parnis and Others v. Malta (Bartolo Parnis) is the last in a series of judgments in which Maltese landlords have been contesting before the ECtHR the remedy afforded to them by the domestic Constitutional Court, after concluding that strict rent controls were in breach of their property rights. The finding of such a […]

  • Naoual El Yattouti

Polat v. Austria: A Tale of Two Missed Opportunities

December 14, 2021

By Naoual El Yattouti In the case Polat v. Austria, the mother of a deceased child complained that the carrying out of a post-mortem despite her and her husband’s objections based on religious reasons, violated her rights under Articles 8, 9 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights (hereafter: the Convention). The European […]

  • Tobias Mortier

Miroslava Todorova v. Bulgaria: Bulgaria joins list of serious rule of law offenders

December 08, 2021

By Tobias Mortier Art. 18 is a peculiar provision in the rights catalogue of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘the Convention’). Only rarely is it invoked before the European Court of Human Rights (‘the Court’) – and a violation of it is even rarer. Up until now, the Court had only found violations of […]

  • Jenny Sandvig, Hannah Cecilie Brænden and Peter Dawson

European National Human Rights Institutions Intervene in a High-Profile Climate Case

December 03, 2021

by Jenny Sandvig, Hannah Cecilie Brænden and Peter Dawson In one of the first climate cases to be decided by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) has submitted a joint third-party intervention. The intervention, a first by national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in an international […]

  • Kyriaki Patsianta

X v. Poland: A victory, yet not a triumph for homosexual parents in Strasbourg

November 30, 2021

By Dr Kyriaki Patsianta In the case of X v. Poland, the ECtHR found that there had been a violation of articles 14 and 8 of the Convention in respect of a homosexual mother, who alleged that the removal of her youngest child from her custody, after her former husband obtained a change in the […]

  • Roxanna Dehaghani

Not vulnerable enough? A missed opportunity to bolster the vulnerable accused’s position in Hasáliková v. Slovakia

November 23, 2021

By Dr Roxanna Dehaghani Who satisfies the definition of a ‘vulnerable accused’ and does a failure to provide reasonable adjustments undermine Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights? These questions were central to the judgment in Hasáliková v Slovakia. This comment focuses on A’s claim regarding vulnerability and the absence of adjustments, in […]

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