The Human Rights Centre of Ghent University (Belgium) submitted a joint third party intervention (TPI) before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or the Court) in the communicated case of Mikyas and others v. Belgium together with the Equality Law Clinic of the Université Libre de Bruxelles. In this case, the Court is asked to rule on the impossibility for two Muslim girls to wear the headscarf in Belgian public high schools. In our submission, we highlight various elements of the legal and societal context of the case and suggest possible pathways of legal reasoning under the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR or the Convention) that we hope may be relevant to both lawyers and Judges working on this case as well as for the further development of case law.Continue reading
By Charly Derave, PhD Researcher at the Perelman Centre for legal philosophy (ULB), and Hania Ouhnaoui, coordinator of the Equality Law Clinic (ULB).
On 24 February 2021, the Equality Law Clinic (ELC) of the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Human Rights Centre (HRC) of Ghent University submitted a third-party intervention to the European Court of Human Rights in the case M. v. France. This case is the first opportunity for the Court to rule on “normalising” medical treatments of intersex persons, i.e. those who are born with sex characteristics that do not conform to the (medical) definition of the male and female sex. They represent between 1% and 2% of the population. It is because of the “variations” in their sex characteristics that, even though they are healthy, these persons often undergo enforced corrective surgeries and hormonal treatments to “normalise” their bodies and to anchor them in the binarity of sex and gender.Continue reading
The Human Rights Centre of Ghent University, in collaboration with the Equality Law Clinic from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, submitted a third party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Y v. France. With this case, the Court is invited to pronounce itself on the issue of non-binary sex/gender markers in official documents. It was brought by an intersex applicant who identifies as gender non-binary. The stakes are high not only for persons with certain variations in sex characteristics (intersex persons), but also for all those who identify outside of the gender binary and want to be legally recognised as such. In our submission, we argue that Contracting Parties which refuse to register individuals who seek a non-binary sex/gender marker as such violate their positive and negative obligations under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, taken alone or in conjunction with Article 14. The facts and our arguments are further outlined below.Continue reading