Partei Die Friesen v. Germany: Federalism trumps uniform protection of national minority rights

By Pieter Cannoot, academic assistant and doctoral researcher of constitutional law (Ghent University)

On 28 January 2016 the European Court of Human Rights declared the complaint by the regional Frisian political party “Die Friesen” against Germany unfounded. The party argued that the electoral system of the German Land of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) was discriminatory in conjunction with Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the ECHR, in so far as it applied a 5% threshold to the 2008 parliamentary elections.

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