Strasbourg Observers

View posts from: Cases

  • Guest Blogger

Petrina v Romania – serious issues of interpretation and implementation of the Convention

June 09, 2010

Today, we are pleased to announce a guest post by Dragoş Bogdan* and Mihai Selegean**. Their post on the consequences of the defamation case Petrina v. Romania (14 October 2008, App. no. 78060/01) represents a welcome addition to some of our own posts on the Court’s defamation case-law. More information on the authors, who we […]

  • Maris Burbergs

‘Unluxury problems’ of Europe

June 04, 2010

In a book published in 2003 Manfred Nowak wrote: “The OAS [Organization of American States] in comparison [with the Council of Europe] is composed of a wide range of states including both the richest industrialized countries (United States and Canada) and the poorest countries of the world (e.g. Haiti), as well as democracies and military […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Conscientious objection: unfortunate precedent should not survive in the Grand Chamber

June 01, 2010

It is great news that the Grand Chamber has accepted the request for referral in the conscientious objection case of Bayatyan v. Armenia. Last October, against commonly accepted standards in the Council of Europe Member States (see, PACE, Recommendation 1518, 2001, paras. 2 and 3) and, despite Armenia’s official commitment to pardon conscientious objectors (see, […]

  • Weichie

Political speech under threat?

May 28, 2010

In the case of Fleury v. France of 11 May 2010, the European Court of Human Rights held that the freedom of expression of a politician, member of the opposition on municipal level, had not been violated by his criminal conviction for defamation of a public official, the mayor of the municipality. The ruling of […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Turkey: voicing minority concerns in academic discussions

May 26, 2010

The European Court of Human Rights has recently ruled against a ban imposed on an American citizen’s re-entry into Turkey for past opinions concerning Kurdish and Armenian issues during her teaching activities in the eighties (Cox v. Turkey). The applicant had allegedly said to her university colleagues and students that the Turks had massacred the […]

  • 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

Tănase v. Moldova: multiple readings of a case concerning multiple nationality

May 12, 2010

To be honest, our team’s first reaction when discussing the recent Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Tănase v. Moldova was rather dismissive.  We had the feeling that the Court was teaching Moldova the basics of what it means to be a democracy; a thing they would hardly do in a case concerning, say, […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Remembering Lautsi

May 10, 2010

“When is a cross a cross?” was the heading of a post by Stanley Fish earlier this month in the NY Times Opinionator Blog. The entry referred to US Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Salazar v. Buono concerning a solitary Latin cross standing in the Californian desert as a memorial for those who fought in […]

  • Maris Burbergs

The chilling effect of 690, 000 euro

May 06, 2010

In the case of Handölsdalen Sami Village and Others v. Sweden the applicants argued that legal costs at a national level that amounted to 690, 000 euro were in breach of the right to access to court under Article 6. The applicants were four Swedish Sami villages. The case concerned domestic proceedings about a disputed […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Would a Niqab and Burqa ban pass the Strasbourg test?

May 04, 2010

By Lourdes Peroni, Saïla Ouald-Chaib and Stijn Smet Whether it is a Burqa or a Niqab, what is at stake is a face-covering veil. This veil is increasingly becoming the subject of heated discussion within Europe. In France, a bill that aims to prohibit its wearing is the subject of a national debate. Also at […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

Mustafa and Armağan Akin v. Turkey: Not above children’s heads!

April 29, 2010

The bulk of the cases appearing before the European Court of Human Rights concern length of proceeding cases that might not always be interesting for the public because of their technical character. However in a lot of other cases, the Court is  confronted with very shocking facts. Cases of torture by public authorities, but also […]

  • Weichie

Of Rights and Interests

April 28, 2010

On 30 March 2010 the European Court of Human Rights released its judgment in the case of Petrenco v. Moldova. The case concerned a newspaper article in which negative remarks were made about the applicant’s competence as a historian. The article further alleged that the applicant, a university professor and Chairman of the Association of […]

  • 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 […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Prisoners’ voting rights and the rule of law

April 25, 2010

Once again, the Court has been called upon to decide on a case regarding prisoners’ disenfranchisement. In Frodl v. Austria, the applicant, convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, was denied inclusion in the electoral register on the basis of Section 22 of the National Assembly Election Act which provides that ‘anyone who has […]

  • Maris Burbergs

What is the European literary heritage?

April 12, 2010

In the case of Akdas v. Turkey the Court was called upon to decide on a seizure of a novel. But it turns out, this is not just a novel, it is something more. The applicant published a Turkish translation of the erotic novel “Les onze mille verges” by the French writer Guillaume Apollinaire, which […]

  • Eva Brems

Zubczewski v Sweden: margin of appreciation as a blank check

April 12, 2010

An observer of the Strasbourg case-law should always remember to include the inadmissibility decisions in her research. The changes in the Court’s procedures, introducing committees of three judges and judges sitting alone, have made this more difficult (those decisions are not on HUDOC), yet at the same time have resulted in a situation in which […]

  • Weichie

How the outcome can be good, but the reasoning sloppy

April 12, 2010

The judgment delivered on 1 April 2010 in the case of S.H. and others v. Austria concerned the use of donors for in vitro fertilization (IVF). The applicants, two couples, wished to have children, but medical reasons impeded both couples from having them the biological way. They had no choice but to rely on IVF […]

  • Weichie

Judge ≠ mathematician

April 12, 2010

Note: following a helpful comment, this post has been edited to correct a mistake on my behalf. In this blog entry I would like to focus on the Court’s interpretation of the concept ’statistically relevant’. In Oršuš and others v. Croatia, the Court held the following regarding the statistical evidence adduced by the applicants: “These […]

  • Weichie

ECtHR v. Belgium on detention of children: part II

April 12, 2010

On 10 January 2010 the European Court of Human Rights released its judgment in the case of Muskhadzhiyeva and others v. Belgium, a case concerning the detention of minor asylum seekers in a closed detention centre. The applicants in Muskhadzhiyeva and others were five Chechnyans: a mother and her four minor children. Following the dismissal […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

Is a more inclusive wind blowing through the Court?

April 12, 2010

Recently the European Court of Human Rights issued an interesting judgment in a case concerning a Roma Marriage. (Muñoz Diaz v. Spain, 8 December 2009) Muñoz Diaz and M.D. married in 1971 according to Roma traditions. This marriage was recognized by the Roma community. When her husband died, Muñoz Diaz applied for a survivor’s pension, […]

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