Tuesday 30 October 2012

Open Society Paper on ECHR Implementation

The Open Society Justice Initiative has drafted a paper as a kind of counterweight to all the plans and initiatives from the ECHR state parties and those from within the Council of Europe itself. The paper, entitled 'National Implementation of the Interlaken Declaration. Perspectives of European civil society on national implementation of the Interlaken Declaration and Action Plan: Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation and Ukraine' has been formally submitted to the Council of Europe's Steering Committee on Human Rights and will thus become part of the discussions. It includes a large number of practical recommendations, from a civil society perspective to improve the effective implementation of European Court judgments. One of its very useful features is an analysis of implementation problems in some of the most problematic state parties. Hopefully a way to make a difference where it is needed most. Here are some excerpts from the press release:

The 47 members of the Council of Europe have pledged to improve their implementation of the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), something that would significantly reduce the case load that continues to weigh on the Court. After April's Brighton Conference on the future of the Court, the Justice Initiative urged member states to pursue three principle objectives: implementing the European Convention at a national level, complying with judgments of the court, and providing adequate resources for previously agreed reforms.

National governments have presented their assessments of their own progress in this area, but without any significant input from the civil society groups and human rights lawyers who have resorted to the court to address abuses of the European Convention on Human Rights. This paper reflects civil society perspectives on national implementation in seven countries in which the Open Society Justice Initiative works closely with local partners, and in which the lack of implementation in crucial areas severely and negatively affects the promotion and protection of human rights: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.

The Open Society Justice Initiative will hold consultations around the bi-annual meeting of NGOs at the European Court of Human rights in November 2012 to discuss how to improve supervision of the enforcement of ECHR judgments.

Monday 29 October 2012

Video in German about the Court

Das Erste, one of Germany's main national public broadcasters has produced a short video about the European Court of Human Rights. The short feature (just a bit over seven minutes) in the series Ratgeber - Recht gives a short overview of what the Court is and does. It is entitled 'Die letzte Hoffnung? Der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte' (The Last Hope? The European Court of Human Rights).

Thursday 25 October 2012

New Journal with ECHR-related Articles

A brand new journal has been added to the universe of human rights periodicals: the Cyprus Human Rights Law Review. The new review, led by Leto Cariolou, of the European Human Rights Law Institute, aims to promote:

knowledge, appreciation and constructive discussion on matters of human rights law and policy, particularly those affecting the Cypriot legal order. The Review publishes articles and case notes that consider human rights from an international to domestic context, book reviews, analysis of recent jurisprudence and practice of international and regional human rights systems and analysis of recent and relevant jurisprudence and practice of Cypriot courts and other domestic authorities.

The majority of articles in the first issue relate to the European Convention of Human Rights. I mention those here:

  • Dean Spielmann, Recognition and Execution of foreign judgments and the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Panayotis Voyatzis, The right to legal assistance free of charge in the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights
  • Loukis G. Loucaides, The right to Freedom of Thought as protected by the European Convention on Human Rights  
  • Natasha Bakirci, Al-Skeini and others v. the United Kingdom
  • Daniel Rietiker, Neulinger and Shuruk v. Switzerland
  • Theodora Christodoulidou, Kafkaris (no.2) v. Cyprus
Congrats to the editors of this new review!

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Liber Amicorum for Bratza on Freedom of Expression

This week a special collection of essays was offered to the Court's president to mark the end of his many years in Strasbourg, first in the European Commission of Human Rights and later at the Court, since its fulltime start in 1998. Contrary to a usual Liber Amicorum, this one has all essays tightly organised around a specific theme, which makes it all the more interesting. The book was edited by Josep Casadevall, Egbert Myjer, Michael O'Boyle and Anna Austin and is entitled 'Freedom of Expression. Essays in honour of Nicolas Bratza'. It was published by Wolf Legal Publishers in cooperation with the Council of Europe. The beautiful tribute to one of Strasbourg's most experienced figures (decades ago already, Bratza was one of the counsels for the government in the famous Handyside case) includes a wide variety of perspectives on the central theme: freedom of the press and privacy, responsible journalism, freedom of expression of judges, lawyers, witnesses and civil servants, offensive speech and much more. This is the abstract:

Freedom of expression is one of the cornerstones of all democratic systems. Without it ideas about how to protect the common good in our societies would be impoverished. A marketplace of ideas is essential for democracy to thrive. It is for this reason that the European Court of Human Rights attaches such importance to political discourse as well as to speech and other forms of expression that may shock and offend. Yet such freedom may clash with other rights such as the right to privacy, the right to a good reputation. It may even conflict with the need to protect public order or morals. Societies require pluralism if they are to grow yet democracy also seeks to limit extreme forms of speech that preach hate and advocate violence. But are such restrictions on free speech legitimate and by what criteria are we to judge their necessity?

We rely on journalists to report accurately the controversies of the day and protect their right not to reveal sources. They also enjoy a broad right of fair comment. But we expect them to be responsible in their factual reporting, to check their sources and to have regard to the need to observe some degree of restraint when reporting or commenting on matters that affect the rights of others. But is it legitimate to interfere with reporting that is in the public interest and how can the law promote responsible journalism?

This collection of essays on freedom of expression contains contributions by distinguished judges and lawyers from many varied backgrounds that explore these themes with a critical eye. The book seeks to honour Sir Nicolas Bratza, President of the European Court of Human Rights, for his outstanding contribution, as a jurist and leading judicial figure, to the protection of human rights in Europe.
I can add that the book also includes one of the most original footnotes I ever saw: on page 363 it features part of the musical score of Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations!

Tuesday 23 October 2012

New Issue RTDH

The newest issue of the Revue trimestrielle des droits de l'homme is out now (No. 92 - October 2012). It includes the following ECHR-related articles:

• Katia Lucas, Revirements de jurisprudence et non-rétroactivité de la « loi » : la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme face au sempiternel problème de la rétroactivité naturelle des changements de cap jurisprudentiels

• Abdelkhaleq Berramdane, La Cour européenne des droits de l’homme et l’institution du « nadzor »

• Roxani Fragkou, La consécration du droit à l'interprétation et à la traduction au procès pénal à travers la jurisprudence de la Cour européenne des droits de l'homme : un processus évolutif

• Elisabeth Lambert-Abdelgawad, L’exécution des arrêts de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme (2011)

• Anne Gilles, L’organisation juridictionnelle française passée au crible de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme – Les conséquences de l’arrêt Moulin c. France du 23 novembre 2010 (obs/s. Cour eur. dr. h., Moulin c. France, 23 novembre 2010)

• Sophie Grosbon, La discrimination dans l’imposition de frais de scolarité à certains ressortissants étrangers (obs/s. Cour eur. dr. h., Ponomaryovi c. Bulgarie, 21 juin 2011)

• Francis Haumont, La crise des déchets en Campanie et les droits de l’homme (obs/s. Cour eur. dr. h., di Sarno e.a. c. Italie, 10 janvier 2012)

•Jean-Pierre Marguénaud, L’affaire Kopf et Liberda ou la consolation procédurale (obs/s. Cour eur. dr. h., Kopf et Liberda c. Autriche, 17 janvier 2012)

Monday 22 October 2012

New ECHR Publications

Albert Sánchez Graells (University of Hull), has published a working paper on SSRN, entitled 'The EU’s Accession to the ECHR and Due Process Rights in EU Competition Law Matters: Nothing New Under the Sun?'. This is the abstract:

In light of the ongoing discussion on the potential need for reform of the enforcement system of EU competition law to make it compliant with Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the aim of this paper is to contribute to the debate in a threefold manner by: i) sketching the peculiarities of the enforcement of competition law (in general, but with a focus on EU competition law), which basically derive from the complex and data intensive economic assessments required in most cases; ii) critically appraising the requirements of Article 6(1) ECHR in the field of EU competition law in view of those peculiarities; and, finally, iii) assessing the impact of those requirements in terms of the potentially necessary amendments to the EU competition law enforcement system upon the EU’s accession to the ECHR.

The basic contention of the paper is that, given the specific architecture of the EU competition law enforcement system under Regulation 1/2003 (and the domestic competition laws of Member States) — which have crystallized in a network of highly specialised and independent administrative agencies that, generally, offer procedural guarantees equivalent (or superior) to those of most tribunals in other areas of the law — and as long as an effective (soft or marginal) judicial review mechanism is available to the undertakings affected by sanctions due to EU competition law infringements, no significant changes are required in order to make the system comply with Articles 6(1) ECHR and 47 EUCFR. This position is further supported by the express normative assumption that undertakings (or companies) deserve a relatively more limited protection than individuals under the ECHR and, more specifically, under Article 6(1) ECHR — at least as regards non-core due process guarantees, such as the standard of review applicable (and as opposed to ‘core’ due process guarantees such as the presumption of innocence, the principle of equality of arms, the right to have full access to the evidence, or the right not to suffer undue delays).

Tobias Lock of the University of Surrey School of Law, has published 'End of an Epic? The Draft Agreement on the EU's Accession to the ECHR'  in this year's Yearbook of European Law, also on SSRN. This is the abstract:

This contribution aims to analyze and assess the draft agreement on the European Union’s (EU) accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The paper first discuss the effects which accession will have on the system of human rights protection under the ECHR focusing on the most relevant features of the accession agreement, such as the co-respondent mechanism and the prior involvement of the ECJ. The second part of this contribution explores the future status of the ECHR in the EU’s legal order. It is argued that accession will not affect the status quo of fundamental rights protection before the EU's courts or domestic courts in any material way. Nonetheless, accession is to be welcomed as it will allow for full external scrutiny by the European Court of Human Rights.

Finally, Lina Urbaitė has written 'Judicial Activism in the Approach of the European Court of Human Rights to Positive Obligations of the State', published in the Baltic Yearbook of International Law (vol. 11, 2011).

Wednesday 17 October 2012

(European) Human Rights and the UK Constitution

Colm O'Cinneide of University College London has written the report 'Human rights and the UK constitution', commissioned by the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences. In the author's own words, it 'makes the argument that the existing relationship between UK law and the ECHR is entirely compatible with constitutional principles and any future reform of UK law in this area should keep Convention rights incorporated in UK law.' This is the short summary:

Human rights law has been the subject of considerable controversy in the UK over the last few years. For example last year’s ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that the UK government should end its blanket ban on prisoners voting, once again raised the thorny issue of the UK’s relationship with the European Court and whether the UK should have its own Bill of Rights. The issue of human rights appears frequently within the media and often causes heated debate with the question of the UK’s relationship to the ECHR causing some of the more fervent aspects of the debate.

In Human rights and the UK constitution Colm O’Cinneide clarifies some of the key issues at stake. He evaluates the workings of the UK human rights law, and the nature of the relationship between the ECHR and the UK courts and the Parliament. Finally, the report explores how proposals for a new Bill of Rights may affect the protection of human rights within the framework of the UK’s unwritten constitution.

Human rights and the UK constitution finds that the current state of human rights law in the UK strikes a good balance between respect for democracy and the need to protest human rights. Attempting to recalibrate this delicate balance may prove to be a difficult and thankless task.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Extraordinary Rendition, Forced Labour, and Evidence Obtained by Torture

There are three cases, among the many decided by the Court in the past few weeks, which I would like to highlight. They deal with testimony potentially obtained through torture, forced labour and extraordinary rendition respectively.

The first is the case of El Haski v. Belgium (available only in French). It deals with a terrorist suspect against whom evidence obtained in Morocco during legal proceedings there (following the 2003 Casablanca bombings) was used in court in Belgium. It was unclear whether such evidence was in fact obtained by means of torture. The Court held that it was sufficient for exclusion of such evidence from trial in an ECHR state party if a suspect could show that there was a "real risk" that such evidence had been obtained by treatment contrary to Article 3. The case builds on the recent Othman (Abu Qatada) v. the United Kingdom judgment, from January of this year. In this case, such a real risk existed. The refusal by Belgian courts to exclude the evidence thus led to a violation of the right to a fair trial (Article 6 ECHR).

The second is the case of C.N. and V. v. France (available only in French). After Siliadin (2005) and Rantsev (2010, see my earlier post here) this is the third important case to breathe life into the often neglected Article 4 of the Convention, which prohibits slavery, servitude and forced labour. C.N. and V were two orphans from Burundi brought to France by their uncle and aunt in order to take care of them. In practice, they were both made to work in their household for long hours and under the threat of being sent back to Burundi. The case is interesting on several points. First, it offered the Court the possibility to clarify how servitude can be differentiated from forced labour, the former being an aggravated form of the latter. The Court explained that servitude is characterised by  the feeling of the victim that her or his situation cannot be changed, supported by objective elements (para. 91 of the judgment). Secondly, the Court distinguished the situation of the two sisters in detail. While both had to work, the younger sister was allowed to go to school, whereas the older was given no opportunity to develop herself or to establish social ties beyond the house. Only the situation of the older sister fell within the scope of Article 4 ECHR. The Court found that although France had complied with its positive obligation to conduct an effective investigation (uncle and aunt were brought to justice eventually), it had violated its positive obligation to put in place an adequate legislative and administrative framework to combat forced labour and servitude effectively (in parallel to the older Siliadin case, also directed against France). The facts dated from before 2003, when the penal code was changed.

Finally, the third case is Abdulkhakov v. Russia, one of the very rare cases where a form of extraordinary rendition yields a judgment of the European Court. The case concerns the kidnapping in Moscow and transfer to Tajikistan of an Uzbek refugee, who was sought in Uzbekistan for  involvement in extremist activities. Although the Russian authorities denied any involvement, the Court found that what happened to the applicant could not have occurred without the knowledge or involvement of the state. Thus it held Russia to account. Of course it is notable here that the rendition was towards a non-ECHR state party (Tajikistan). The Court concluded that this amounted to a violation of the right to individual petition, since the illegal transfer in effect frustrated the purpose of an interim measure imposed on Russia earlier not to transfer him. In addition, the Court also found a violation of Article 3 ECHR, since Russia had not made any assessment of whether the applicant would face a real risk of torture in Tajikistan, all the more so since the transfer was conducted secretly and outside nay legal framework which could have provided safeguards. As the Court reiterated "any extra-judicial transfer or extraordinary rendition, by its deliberate circumvention of due process, is an absolute negation of the rule of law and the values protected by the Convention. It therefore amounts to a violation of the most basic rights guaranteed by the Convention" (para. 156).

More extraordinary rendition cases are in the pipeline, even more directly implicating ECHR state parties. The Court has asked Poland and Romania in two different cases to provide answers about possible secret CIA detention centres on their territories (this means the cases have been communicated, with questions, to the states concerned). For more information, see the website of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

Friday 12 October 2012

New Issue HRLR

The newest issue of the Human Rights Law Review has been published (vol. 12, no. 3, 2012) and includes a number of articles concerning the European Convention and the European Court:
  • Mathias Möschel, 'Is the European Court of Human Rights’ Case Law on Anti-Roma Violence ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’?'
This article critically analyses the European Court of Human Rights’ case law on anti-Roma violence. Its reluctance to recognise Article 14 violations in almost all involved cases stands in stark contrast with the Court’s strong rhetoric against racial discrimination. After demonstrating how the Strasbourg judges maneuvered themselves into this position, the author shows how they could change their jurisprudence. Thus, they would finally stop contributing to presenting and legally constructing Europe as a place where racial discrimination exists only in the rarest cases.

  • Jasper P. Sluijs, 'From Competition to Freedom of Expression: Introducing Article 10 ECHR in the European Network Neutrality Debate'
Network neutrality concerns a heated debate on the role of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as a potential gatekeeper for Internet access of end-users and online content providers. In line with standard practice in European telecommunications policy, the European regulatory response to the issue of network neutrality has been framed mainly in economic terms. At the same time, European civil society organisations have interpreted network neutrality in terms of fundamental rights, particularly freedom of expression. Moreover, while the amended regulatory framework for telecommunications now includes explicit references to fundamental rights, it remains unclear if and how fundamental rights should be applied to network neutrality disputes. This article relates network neutrality to the rich body of Article 10 case law of the European Convention on Human Rights, and asks to what extent this jurisprudence is of relevance to network neutrality discussions. The findings of this research reveal that the claim that network management by ISPs would violate end-users’ freedom of expression is less straightforward than often assumed. Moreover, the opposite case in which network neutrality regulation violates ISPs’ freedom of expression is less far-fetched than it may seem. These conclusions are meant to move the European discussion on network neutrality and fundamental rights beyond rhetoric, towards a more substantial and analytical approach.

And the shorter article:
  • Violeta Moreno-Lax, 'Hirsi Jamaa and Others v Italy or the Strasbourg Court versus Extraterritorial Migration Control?'

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Court Condemns Homophobic Treatment in Prisons

For the first time in its existence, the European Court of Human Rights found that a complaint related to sexual orientation discrimination yielded a violation of Article 3 ECHR. The judgment of X. v. Turkey (available only in French), delivered last week, concerns a young homosexual inmate, convicted for credit card fraud and forgery, who was intimidated and bullied by his fellow prisoners. After he complained to the prison authorities, he was placed in solitary confinement in a very small, dirty cell with rats, normally reserved for prisoners undergoing disciplinary measures or for those accused of paedophilia or rape. For many months he was allowed no contact with anyone but his lawyer and entirely excluded from the shared areas of the prison nor any access to outdoor exercise. According to the authorities this was done for his own safety. As a result of this treatment the applicant started to suffer from depression.

In deciding the case, the Court recalled that Article 3 ECHR obliges states to ensure that all detainees are kept in conditions compatible with respect for human dignity. In deciding whether the threshold of inhuman or degrading treatment is reached, the Court took into account that the solitary confinement lasted for over eight months in total. It emphasized that, in addition to the appalling conditions in the cell and its very small size, certain aspects of the detention cicrumstances - in particular the total lack of contact with other inmates and the total lack of access to open air - were even more severe than for people serving life sentences in Turkey. The fact that no effective remedy existed for the applicant, in spite of his numerous complaints to the authorities, was in the Court's view an aggravating factor. Taken together this caused mental and physical suffering for the applicant of a level which profoundly affected his human dignity. Even if the protection of the applicant for harasssment by his fellow inmates could have been the incentive for the measures, this alleged concern to protect him did not justify these measures of total exclusion from the shared areas in the prison.

The Court also found a violation of the prohibition of discrimination (Article 14 ECHR) in conjunction with Article 3 ECHR. Sexual orientation, although not explicitly mentioned in Article 14 as a prohibited ground of difference in treatment, has been recognised by the Court as such (under "other status") in earlier case-law. When differences in treatment are based on sexual orientation the margin of appreciation for states is narrow. In this new judgment the Court built on these principles and held that states have the obligation to take all possible measures to ascertain whether or not a discriminatory attitude (on the part of the prison authorities) had played a role in placing him in solitary confinement. In this case, an adequate risk assessment had not been made at all. Rather, the authorities - as the Court implicitly makes clear by describing their attitude - displayed prejudice. The person deciding on whether the detention circumstances had to be changed, after the applicant had complained about them, stated that his solitary confinement was preventive, since no risk could be taken that a transvestite [sic!] would be lynched. The European Court concluded that the applicant's sexual orientation rather than mere preventive concerns about his safety had been the main reason for keeping him in solitary confinement. Thus, he had suffered discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for which no justification had been put forward. On the last finding, the Lithuanian judge, Jočienė, dissented. She argued that discriminatory intent could not be inferred from the facts of the case.

The judgment is an important development in the Court's case-law, finding as it does that issues relating to sexual orientiation can be pertinent to an Article 3 violation. It also indicates that when authorities try to protect a prisoner against harassment by fellow prisoners, the effect should not be to de facto punish the alleged victim rather than the bullies. Measures taken should be proportionate to the aim of protection. As the Court found, a risk assessment should take place. The judgment also points at the very problematic prejudicial attitudes existing among some state authorities in Turkey (but certainly not only there!) relating to sexual orientation.

See also the very incisive and informative contextualisation given by Paul Johnson of the University of York in his analysis of the judgment here. His book which surveys the Court's jurisprudence on homosexuality, which I highlighted here, is now available.

Monday 8 October 2012

New Academic Articles on Al-Jedda, Al-Skeini, and EU Accession to ECHR

The most recent issue of the Military Law and the Law of War Review (Revue de Droit Militaire et de Droit de la Guerre, vol. 50, nos. 3-4 of 2011) has been published. It includes an 'agora' / special thematic part on the Al-Jedda and Al-Skeini judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, with the following contributions:

  • Frederik Naert, The European Court of Human Rights’ Al-Jedda and Al-Skeini Judgments: An Introduction and Some Reflections
  • Francesco Messineo, Things Could only Get Better: Al-Jedda beyond Behrami
  • Kjetil Mujezinovic Larsen, ‘Neither Effective Control nor Ultimate Authority and Control’: Attribution of Conduct in Al-Jedda
  • Anne-Marie Baldovin, Impact de la jurisprudence récente de la Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme sur la planification et l’exécution des opérations militaires à venir: Application extraterritoriale de la Convention, imputabilité des faits des troupes et fragmentation du droit international
  • Heike Krieger, After Al-Jedda: Detention, Derogation, and an Enduring Dilemma
And professor José Manuel Cortés Martín, University of Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, has published an article entitled 'Sur l’adhésion à la CEDH et la sauvegarde de l’autonomie de l’ordre juridique de l’Union dans l'identification du défendeur pertinent: Le mécanisme du codéfendeur'  in the Revue du Droit de l'Union Européenne. The article is in French, but this is the abstract in English:

After the Lisbon Treaty and the Protocol No 14 annexed to the ECHR have come into effect, the obstacles that remained for the European Union accession to this important regional instrument for the protection of human rights have been cleared. This must allow not only completing a legitimate and important aim, but ending the contradictions posed by the current situation in which the ECHR exerts an indirect control of EU Law through the intermediary of EU Member States. The accession should avoid this situation, while safeguarding at the same time the autonomy of EU law. From the perspective of the capacity of the Union and its Member States to be sued, it is necessary to avoid ECHR interferences in the distribution of powers, whose interpreter must be uniquely the ECJ. Therefore it seems essential to provide a kind of collective intervention in ECHR proceedings every time that Union law is directly or indirectly questioned. In the present author’s view, however, the absence of such a procedural provision does not make impossible an adequate representation of the EU interests. This aim could be achieved through the requirement of unity in the international representation of the European Union comprised in the principle of closed cooperation between the Member States and the UE institutions. As proof of this one can point to the experience of more than fifteen years of cohabitation of the Union and its Members States in the WTO and its dispute settlement system. Finally, the principle of autonomy of EU law also raises some concerns in relation to substantive compatibility with ECHR rights and guarantees. This debate has become especially prominent with regard to the application by the Commission of European Competition Law. The answer to this question can only be found in the rich and comprehensive Case-law developed by the ECHR. However, without the specific circumstances of a particular case, it might be found, at most, evidences that could support one or another position. Any projection is lacking of a crucial element, which we have tried to highlight in this work. The current ECHR Case-law is based on States parties, their powers and their exercise in the framework of democratic internal procedures. However, the ECHR Case-law does not keep into account, at least in a structural way, the peculiarities of the European integration process. It is not hard to imagine, however, that the ECHR will be sensitive to the peculiarities of this process, taking into account the specificity of the Union and its legal order.

Thursday 4 October 2012

HUDOC Tutorial Video

Undoubtedly one of the most-used human rights case-law search engines in the world is the European Court of Human Rights' own HUDOC database with all its case-law. Earlier this year, the user interface of the database was relaunched with a different look and more search options. For those trying to find out how the new HUDOC works and for first time users, the Court has now put a tutorial video online, both in English and in French.

Wednesday 3 October 2012

New Judges Elected in Respect of Bosnia, Croatia, Moldova, and Russia

Yesterday, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe elected judges to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of four countries. The new Bosnian judge will be Mr Faris Vehabovic, judge and vice-president of the Bosnian Constitutional Court and ad hoc judge at the European Court in a number of cases. He obtained a large majority of votes (107 out of 184 votes cast). The new judge in respect of Croatia will be Ms Ksenija Turkovic, professor at Zagreb Law School and also ad hoc judge since this year at the European Court, amongst many other activities (133 out of 187 votes cast). From Moldova, Mr Valeriu Gritco has been elected (112 out of 188 votes). He is a practising lawyer in Moldova and board member of the Moldovan Bar association. Finally, the new judge in respect of Russia will be Mr Dmitry Dedov (120 out of 182 votes), a judge at Russia's Supreme Commercial Court (at which he introduced teh idea of pilot jdugments, in parallel to the European Court's, to unburden the Commercial Court's work.

What is striking is that, in contrast to some of the election in respect of other countries earlier this year, all of these judges have been elected by wide margins of votes. One may note that this new group of judges represents a balanced mix of national judges, academics and practising lawyers, bringing a plurality of perspectives to Strasbourg. The newly elected judges will start working at the Courtin the coming months. Congratulations to them all!

More information (including CV's of all candidates) can be found on the Parliamentary Assembly's website.

Monday 1 October 2012

New ECHR Academic Articles

The newest issue of SIM's 'current contents' (September 2012) on human rights has been published. As always, it also includes a number of ECHR-related references. These include:

  • K. Dzehtsiarou and V. Lukashevich, 'Informed decision-making: the comparative endeavours of the Strasbourg Court', Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, vol. 30, no. 3 (2012) pp. 272-298. (the same issue also includes a column by European Court judge Egbert Myjer, entitled 'The succes story of the European Court: The Times they are a-changin'?').

  •  S. McInerney-Lankford, 'Fragmentation of international law redux: the case of Strasbourg', Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, vol. 32, no. 3 (2012) pp. 609-632.

  •  A. Stone Sweet, 'The European Convention on Human Rights and national constitutional reordering', Cardozo Law Review, vol. 33, no. 5 (2011/12)  pp. 1859-1868.

The newest issue of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly (vol. 61, no. 3, 2012) includes two ECHR-related contributions:

  •  M. Amos, 'The dialogue between United Kingdom courts and the European Court of Human Rights', pp. 557-584.
  • C. Michaelsen, 'The renaissance of non-refoulement? The Othman (Abu Qatada) decision of the European Court of Human Rights', pp. 750-765.
The most recent issue of the International Journal of Refugee Law, vol. 24, no. 2 (2012) also features an article on the Abu Qatada case:  
  • L. Early and L. Garlicki, 'Case of Othman (Abu Qatada) v. The United Kingdom European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section) judgment', pp. 294-388.
  • B. Nicolas, 'Case of Hirsi Jamaa and others v. Italy European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber judgment', pp. 389-467.
Finally, the Pacific McGeorge global business and development law journal, vol. 25, no. 1 (2012) alse contains two articles on the ECHR:
  • W. van den Muijsenbergh and S. Rezai, 'Corporations and the European Convention on Human Rights', pp. 43-68.
  • S. Kravchenko and J. Bonine, 'Interpretation of human rights for the protection of the environment in the European Court of Human Rights', pp. 245-288.