Tuesday 23 January 2018

Conference on Margin of Appreciation at Court

The Centre for Law and Public Affairs (CeLAPA) and the Faculty of Law of Charles University in Prague are organising a seminar at the premises of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on Thursday 15 February. The seminar is entitled 'European Human Rights Culture - What Role for the Margin of Appreciation' and will take place in the afternoon. For more information and registration, see here. This is the description by the organisers:

'This seminar asks a simple question – what is the role of the Margin of Appreciation doctrine in contemporary Europe? By linking the interpretation of the doctrine to a broader conception of human rights, understood as complex political and moral norms, leading experts in the field will explore to what extent the tension between human rights and politics, embodied in the doctrine, might be understood as a mutually reinforcing interplay of variables rather than an entrenched separation.

The themes and ideas discussed by the speakers are inspired by a recent collective book Human Rights Between Law and Politics, The Margin of Appreciation in Post-National Contexts (Hart), edited by Petr Agha.


* Jiri Priban (Cardiff) On Legal Doctrines and Reasoning;
* Petr Agha (Prague) The ECHR as a Living Instrument: Its Meaning and Its Legitimacy – the Political Reading of Human Rights;
* Paul Lemmens (ECtHR) The Margin of Appreciation within the Overall Framework of the European Court’s Review of Domestic Actions and Omissions;
* Andreas Føllesdal (Oslo) Improving the European Consensus Doctrine: A Better Signpost, Not a Better Walking Stick;
* Eva Brems (Ghent) Positive Subsidiarity and its Implications for the Margin of Appreciation Doctrine.

The seminar will provide judges, European and national civil servants and other legal practitioners dealing with the case law developed by the European Court of Human Rights with the latest findings conducted by some of the most prominent scholars in Europe.

How to book? Registration is free for this event but booking is essential due to limited numbers. Please note that external participants should register for this event by 5th February 2018.

Contact: For more information please contact petr.agha at centrum.cz'

Thursday 18 January 2018

New ECHR Case-Law Factsheets

This week the Court has put online five new case-law factsheets. They are the newest additions to a growing corpus of more than sixty factsheets available on the Court's website. They provide quick overviews of core case-law on a large range of topics. Many of them have been translated and the factsheet page links on to translations of many factsheets into German, Croatian, Greek, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. As the Court put it in its press release:

'The factsheets aim to contribute to increasing awareness about the Court’s judgments among journalists, national authorities and the public in the Member States of the Council of Europe with a view to improving implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights at national level. One of the key demands of the current reform plans to increase the effectiveness of the Convention system is for Member States to guarantee domestic implementation of the Convention and its case-law.'

The new factsheets cover the following themes:

Tuesday 16 January 2018

New ECHR Publications

Please find below a number of recent publications related to the European Convention and the European Court:

Image result for reader* Our own Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, vol. 35, no. 4 (2017) includes: Julia Wojnowska-Radzinska (Adam Mickiewicz University), 'The access to secret evidence in expulsion proceedings under the European Convention on Human Rights', pp. 230-245:

'The key question tackled in this paper is how States as Parties to the ECHR can use and protect security-sensitive information (secret evidence) in expulsion proceedings. The purpose of this paper is to explore to what extent States may be justified to refuse to disclose to a non-citizen evidence related to State security which constitutes grounds for an expulsion decision, and not violate aliens’ procedural rights. Apart from the procedural mechanisms analysed in the paper, the major problems regarding the use of secret evidence in immigration cases are addressed. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author.'

* Leonie M. Huijbers (Utrecht University, SIM fellow), 'The European Court of Human Rights’ procedural approach in the age of subsidiarity', Cambridge International Law Journal, vol. 6, issue 2 (2017) pp. 177-201.

* Sital Kalantry and Maithili Pradhan, 'Veil Bans in the European Court of Human Rights', ASIL Insight, vol. 21, issue 15 (2017). 

* Uladzislau Belavusau (University of Amsterdam) and Aleksandra Gliszczyńska-Grabias (Polish Academy of Sciences) (eds.), Law and Memory. Towards Legal Governance of History (2017) includes a number of chapters dedicated almost exclusively to Strasbourg case-law on historical memory:

- 3. Patricia Naftali, "The 'Right to Truth' in International Law: the 'Last Utopia'?" 
- 4. Maria Mälksoo, "Kononov vs Latvia as the Ontological Security Struggle over Remembering the Second World War" 
- 5. Paolo Lobba, "Testing the 'Uniqueness': Denial of the Holocaust vs Denial of Other Crimes before the European Court of Human Rights" 
- 10. Ieva Miluna, "Adjudication in Deportation Cases of Latvia and International Law"

* Lauri Mälksoo (University of Tartu - Law) & Wolfgang Benedek (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz have edited a volume entitled Russia and the European Court of Human Rights - The Strasbourg Effect (Cambridge University Press 2017). These are its chapters:

- Lauri Mälksoo, Introduction: Russia, Strasbourg and the paradox of a human rights backlash
- Petra Roter, Russia in the Council of Europe: participation a la carte
- Anton Burkov, The use of European human rights law in Russian courts
- Sergei Marochkin, ECtHR and the Russian Constitutional Court: duet or duel?
- Alexei Trochev, The Russian Constitutional Court and the Strasbourg court: judicial pragmatism in a dual state
- Mikhail Antonov, Philosophy behind human rights: Valery Zorkin vs the West
- Bill Bowring, Russia's cases in the ECtHR and the question of socialization
- Elisabet Fura & Rait Maruste, Russia's impact on the Strasbourg system: as seen by two former judges of the European Court of Human Rights
- Philip Leach, Egregious human rights violations in Chechnya: the continuing pursuit of justice
- Vladislav Starzhenetskiy, Property rights in Russia: reconsidering the socialist legal tradition
- Dmitri Bartenev, LGBT rights in Russia and European human rights standards
- Benedikt Harzl, Nativist ideological responses to European/liberal human rights discourses in contemporary Russia
- Wolfgang Benedek, General conclusions

Wednesday 10 January 2018

New Edition of Van Dijk and Van Hoof Handbook on the ECHR

Dear readers, my very best wishes for the new year 2018 to all of you! It is my great pleasure to announce the publication of the newest (fifth) edition of the famous handbook on the ECHR of Van Dijk and Van Hoof by Intersentia. I had the privilege to be involved in the first phase of this newest edition and to contribute a chapter (on Article 17 ECHR). This fifth edition was prepared by Arjen van Rijn, Leo Zwaak and Linus Hesselink and still carries its classic title Theory and Practice of the European Convention of Human Rights. The growth of case-law has led to extensive re-writing of all chapters compared to the previous edition and to an extension of the team of authors, now comprising several dozens of contributors from mostly the Netherlands and Belgium. The book offers both systematic introductions into the structure of the Convention and the procedure in Strasbourg as well as an article-by-article overview. As I was involved in the project, I leave it to others to assess the book, but at last I am happy that there is now a new edition, since the previous one of 2006. Both hardback and student (paperback) editions are available.This is the abstract:

'Since the first edition of Theory and Practice of the European Convention on Human Rights forty years ago, this book has become the leading reference in the field of human rights in Europe. It provides a systematic and comprehensive overview of the functioning of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its application by the European Court of Human Rights.

With Protocol No. 14 entering into force on 1 June 2010, the protection of human rights in Europe and the case law of the Court have seen a dynamic development during the last decade. A completely new edition of Theory and Practice of the European Convention on Human Rights was thus very much needed.

This fifth edition is again an accessible, easy-to-use, complete and up-to-date reference book, which provides an essential source of information for the practitioners, theorists and students in the field of human rights.

With contributions by Yutaka Arai, Sjoerd Bakker, Tom Barkhuysen, Hemme Battjes, Maya Beeler-Sigron, Edwin Bleichrodt, Hansko Broeksteeg, Antoine Buyse, Karin de Vries, Masha Fedorova, Cees Flinterman, Janneke Gerards, Yves Haeck, Clara Burbano Herrera, Oswald Jansen, Laurens Lavrysen, Koen Lemmens, Joachim Meese, Stefan Sottiaux, Frederik Swennen, Bas van Bockel, Michiel van Emmerik, Arjen van Rijn, Marjolein van Roosmalen, Ben Vermeulen, Cornelis Wouters and Leo Zwaak.'

‘Since its first publication in 1978, van Dijk and van Hoof’s Theory and Practice of the European Convention on Human Rights has been an indispensable reference guide to the functioning of the Strasbourg based European human rights system. Although the 5th edition, for the first time, no longer counts on the contributions of van Dijk and van Hoof, it brings up to date the evolution of the system during the 11 years since the 4th edition, through the contributions of an impressive array of primarily Dutch and Belgian lawyers. Some of the important new developments of the Court are the declaration of state responsibility for extra-territorial violations of human rights (Al-Skeini), i.e. responsibility for violations outside European territory and the entry into force of Protocol No. 14.’
Christina M. Cerna, Adjunct Professor of Law (Georgetown University) and Principal Human Rights Specialist, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (retired)

‘After more than ten years, the fifth edition of this well-established handbook is good news as developments move on particularly quickly in the field of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. The impressive group of distinguished authors combined with the skillful design of the book by its editors make it an essential contribution to the study of the European Convention on Human Rights and an indispensable tool for interested academics and practitioners.’
Prof. Wolfgang Benedek, Head of the Institute of International Law and International Relations and Director of the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy of the University of Graz,Austria.