Tuesday 27 October 2015

ECHR Articles in New Issue of NQHR

The newest edition of the SIM-based Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights (NQHR, No. 3, 2015)) features two articles on the European Convention:

* Janneke Gerards, 'The ECtHR’s Response to Fundamental Rights Issues Related to Financial and Economic Difficulties: The Problem of Compartmentalisation'

This paper presents an analysis of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on fundamental rights limitations for which the States have advanced ‘economic’ or financial justifications. The analysis discloses important differences in the ECtHR’s approach to such cases, which depend on the way they are framed and on which Convention articles they are based. It is submitted that such differences are difficult to maintain if they are not based on the substance and importance of the interests at stake. This paper therefore argues that the Court should develop a more uniform, ‘core rights’ based approach towards all rights claims which are related to the use of resources by States.

* Laurens Lavrysen, 'Strengthening the Protection of Human Rights of Persons Living in Poverty under the ECHR'

In recent years, the European Court of Human Rights has developed a significant jurisprudence which illustrates the added value of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in the field of poverty. Building on the findings of Amartya Sen’s “capability approach”, the article examines the extent to which the Court has grasped the nature of poverty as “capability deprivation”. It is argued that, due to polycentric concerns and a reluctance to overcome the negative / positive obligations and civil and political / social and economic rights dichotomies, the Court has only, to a limited extent, done so. Subsequently, three approaches are examined that could allow it to better take into account the findings of the “capability approach” and that could allow for enhanced protection of the human rights of persons living in poverty under the ECHR: endorsing a more complex perspective on the responsibility of the state; analysing poverty as a failure to provide substantive equality; and recognising the vulnerability of persons living in poverty.