Strasbourg Observers

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  • Maris Burbergs

The right to choose the circumstances of becoming a parent

January 13, 2011

In the end of last year the Court delivered a judgment in the case of Ternovszky v. Hungary. In this judgment the Court created a new right – the right to choose the circumstances of becoming a parent. I will not focus on the discussion about the safety of the mother and the child that […]

  • Weichie

Contradictions in Defamation Cases

January 06, 2011

Before its holiday break, the European Court of Human Rights released two judgments in defamation cases, Novaya Gazeta V Voronezhe v. Russia and Sofranschi v. Moldova. Both cases concern allegations of abuse and irregularities. While both judgments contain good elements, in my opinion they also reveal faulty reasoning on the part of the Court. Most interestingly, […]

  • 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. […]

  • Weichie

A., B. and C. v. Ireland: Abortion and the Margin of Appreciation

December 17, 2010

A., B. and C. v. Ireland concerned three Irish applicants who, in their first trimester of pregnancy, had travelled to England to have an abortion because they believed they would not be allowed to have one in Ireland. The Irish Constitution, unlike the European Convention on Human Rights, explicitly extends the right to life to […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

Jakόbski v. Poland: Is the Court opening the door to reasonable accommodation?

December 08, 2010

By Saïla Ouald-Chaib and Lourdes Peroni In a previous post, I said I would give the European Court of Human Rights a standing ovation the day it adopted a more open stance in freedom of religion cases. The time has come for such ovation. And the opportunity has been provided by what may well be […]

  • Guest Blogger

European Court tackles unacceptable traffic noise pollution

December 01, 2010

This post has been written by Laurens Lavrysen, one of our colleagues at the Human Rights Centre.   Traffic noise pollution – especially at night – is one of the biggest health risks of contemporary Europe. This kind of pollution causes inter alia sleep disturbance, cardiovascular diseases, aberrant social behavior and stress. Guidelines from the […]

  • Maris Burbergs

Hirst Strongly Resonates in Greens … and in Latvia

November 26, 2010

In what some have considered a “blunt ultimatum”, the Court has just given the United Kingdom a six-month deadline to introduce legislative proposals to amend its laws banning prisoners from voting. At the basis of the Court’s decision, is the government’s 5-year failure to execute the Grand Chamber judgment in Hirst (No. 2), the case […]

  • Guest Blogger

Gillberg v. Sweden: conviction of professor for refusal to grant access to sensitive research data not in breach of ECHR

November 22, 2010

This guest post on freedom of expression, academic research, privacy protection and access to official documents has been written by Professor Dirk Voorhoof. Professor Voorhoof is affiliated to both Ghent University (Belgium) and Copenhagen University (Denmark). He is also a Member of the Flemish Regulator for the Media. Further information on Professor Voorhoof can be […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

A Rose By Any Other Name?

November 16, 2010

Shakespeare suggested that the names of things do not matter, but only their substance. The applicants in Losonci Rose and Rose v. Switzerland disagree. So does the Court, and so do I. The applicants in this case are a couple who wanted to retain their own names after marriage, rather than adopt a double-barreled surname […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Leaving Aside Freedom of Religion Complaints

November 12, 2010

Some of us were expecting with great interest the Court’s judgment in Ali v. Romania, particularly its decision concerning the alleged violation of freedom of religion. The applicant, a Muslim serving a sentence in Rahova Prison, complained that the prayer room had been closed. The judgment came out this week. The Court’s decision on Article […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

Şerife Yiğit v. Turkey: The Court did it again!

November 10, 2010

The first post I wrote for our blog was titled: “Is a more inclusive wind blowing through the Court?”. In this post I discussed the case of Muñoz Díaz v. Spain that came out atthe end of 2009, about the non-entitlement to a widow pension by a women who was married for 29 years, but […]

  • Guest Blogger

Press freedom + Russia = violation?

November 04, 2010

This post has been written by Laurens Lavrysen, one of our colleagues at the Human Rights Centre. On 21 October the European Court of Human Rights delivered the judgment Saliyev v. Russia. The case concerned an article in a municipal newspaper about the acquisition of shares in a local energy producing company – at that […]

  • Weichie

The Right to Reputation under the European Convention on Human Rights

November 01, 2010

Does a right to reputation exist under the European Convention on Human Rights? And when does such a right exist? Keeping Pfeifer v. Austria (15 Nov. 2007) in mind, those may appear to be redundant questions. But they are not. I will discuss these questions in light of the recent judgment of the European Court […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

Konstantin Markin: One more applause to the Court. This time from a perspective of religious minority rights

October 27, 2010

The case Konstantin Markin v. Russia was already discussed in a previous post written by my colleague Alexandra who, from a gender perspective, found it a very interesting case, worth applauding on several points. I want to add an additional point from the perspective of religious minority rights. When reading the case I was surprised […]

  • Maris Burbergs

Back-up plans in pilot-judgments?

October 25, 2010

The Court has delivered a pilot-judgment last week in the case of Maria Atanasiu and Others v. Romania. In completing the requirements of the pilot-judgment procedure the Court also decided to adjourn consideration of all the applications stemming from the same general problem for eighteen months from the date on which the present judgment becomes […]

  • 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 […]

  • Weichie

European Court of Human Rights Goes With the Times: Mangouras v. Spain

October 01, 2010

Earlier this week, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in the case of Mangouras v. Spain. The case concerns the environmental disaster caused when the oil tanker Prestige sank in front of the Galician coast in 2002. Following the disaster, the Greek captain of the ship was detained […]

  • Eva Brems

Forced exposure to passive smoking violates human rights

September 24, 2010

Does exposure to smoking by other people violate human rights? This is a question that merits serious consideration. One context in which it has been raised is smoking in the presence of children (see the campaign of the Flemish Anti-Cancer League on this subject, with a link to my presentation on the subject). This raises […]

  • Maris Burbergs

A flight without passengers – new pilot judgment issued

September 08, 2010

The Court issued a pilot judgment last week in the case of Rumpf v. Germany. After reading the judgment it seems important to remind ourselves once more about the nature and objective of the pilot judgment procedure (PJP). It is described by Erik Fribergh, Registrar of the Court: “Rather than deal with these cases in […]

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