Monday 29 October 2018

ECHR Articles in Latest HRLR

The latest issue of the Human Rights Law Review (Vol. 18, No. 3, September 2018) includes no less than four ECHR related Articles:

'The current era in the life of the European Convention on Human Rights is a transformative one. The author, a serving judge of the Strasbourg Court, thus finds it opportune to look back in time, consider the present and reflect on the future. In the article, it is argued that the last 40 years or so constituted the Court’s ‘substantive embedding phase’. This phase has now in general shifted towards a new historical era, the ‘procedural embedding phase’, which is analysed in detail. During this latter phase, the Court has begun to realign its project attempting to trigger increased engagement with the Convention by national authorities using a mechanism termed ‘process-based review’. The overall aim is to secure a higher and more sustainable level of Convention protections within the States subject to European supervision. However, within this process-based review mechanism, national decision-makers have to be structurally capable of fulfilling the task of effectively securing human rights. This means that the foundations of the domestic legal order have to be intact. States that do not respect the rule of law cannot expect to be afforded deference under process-based review in the age of subsidiarity.'

'Fundamental rights standards in Europe diverge as a result of differences in legal traditions, constitutional values and historical developments. The European Court of Human Rights therefore faces the challenge of having to balance the need for uniform and effective rights protection with respect for diversity. It is often thought that the famous margin of appreciation doctrine is the Court’s main tool in finding this balance. This article shows, however, that the Court’s application of the doctrine has made it into a rather empty rhetorical device. This appears to be different for the Court’s use of incrementalism, which increasingly appears to have replaced the margin of appreciation doctrine as an instrument to reconcile European protection of fundamental rights and national diversity. The article concludes by showing how the Court could further benefit from this strategy of incrementalism, while still maintaining a role for the margin of appreciation doctrine.'

'The Council of Europe has long provided protection for the rights of persons with disabilities, primarily by means of the European Convention on Human Rights and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. However, in the past few years the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has profoundly changed that case law, assuming a prominent role in the Court’s interpretation of disability rights. Against this background, the article examines the influence of the UN Convention on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, as well as on the new Council of Europe Disability Strategy 2017–2023.'

'On 15 July 2016, an attempted military coup took place in Turkey, which left 246 dead and 2194 wounded, and sent a shockwave through Turkish society. The response from Ankara followed swiftly. On 21 July 2016, the Turkish Government imposed a nationwide state of emergency, and notified its intention to derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Numerous emergency decrees were promulgated, providing for the closure of more than 3000 schools, media outlets and so on, as well as the detention and arrest of several tens of thousands of individuals. One of the key features of the Turkish Government’s response concerns the dismissal, and exclusion from public service, of more than 130,000 judges, prosecutors, military personnel, police officers, teachers and other civil servants. Having regard to a number of recent admissibility decisions which make clear that the European Court of Human Rights is unlikely to address the matter soon, this article critically examines this unprecedented ‘purge’ from the perspective of ECHR law. It specifically focuses on the application of Article 8 of the ECHR and Article 6 together with Article 13 of the ECHR, drawing analogies with the European Court’s case-law on lustration proceedings. It finds that, even having regard to the exceptional circumstances at hand as well as the Turkish derogation from the ECHR, the Turkish ‘purge’ of public servants cannot be reconciled with the state’s obligations under the ECHR.'