Friday 20 December 2019

My new article Why Attacks on Civic Space Matter in Strasbourg

As the last post before the Christmas break, and with lots of interesting ECHR developments (not in the least today's extensive interpretation of Articles 2 and 8 ECHR by the Dutch Supreme Court in its judgment today in the Urgenda case on climate change and national policy), I am hereby happy to announce the publication of my new article entitled 'Why Attacks on Civic Space Matter in Strasbourg: The European Convention on Human Rights, Civil Society and Civic Space', published Open Access in the Deusto Journal of Human Rights (no. 4, 2019). This is the abstract:

'This article explores the role of the European Convention on Human Rights in addressing the issue of attacks on civic space, but also the potential effects of shrinking civic space on Strasbourg’s work. First, an overview of the notions of civil society and civic space is given, linking these concepts to democracy and human rights. Subsequently, the formal and informal roles for civil society in the judicial decision-making are discussed. Finally, the substantive protection offered to civil society and civic space under the ECHR and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights is analysed. This article argues that the differentiations in theory on the varying contributions of civil society to democracy and human rights are to a large extent reflected in Strasbourg jurisprudence. Even more importantly, the ECHR system and civil society benefit from each other. This is why the current attacks on civic space are not just a problem for civil society itself, but also for the work of the European Court: it is submitted that a shrinking of civic space can also negatively affect the Strasbourg system, as the two are intertwined to a considerable extent.'

Happy holidays to all the readers of the ECHR Blog!

Thursday 12 December 2019

Call for Papers on Freedom of Expression Challenges and the ECHR

The Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School and the International Law and Human Rights Unit of the University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice have published a call for papers on the theme of 'Old and New Threats to Freedom of Expression. Can the European Court of Human Rights Meet the Challenges?' for a workshop to be held on 12 June 2020 in Berlin. This is the abstract of the workshop's content:

'The European Court of Human Rights says that freedom of expression is one of the essential foundations of a democratic society. It is one of the basic conditions for the progress of a democratic society and each individual’s self-fulfillment. While the ‘classic’ questions remain (when can free speech be legitimately limited within a liberal democracy), a number of modern-day challenges to freedom of expression are arising. For instance, what is the role of private online intermediaries? How does the contemporary wave of disinformation impact on rights? What questions do the extraterritorial dimensions of freedom of expression raise? We welcome submissions proposing novel analysis of both ‘classic’ freedom of expression questions, such as hate speech, political correctness, terrorist propaganda and whistleblowing and new challenges, as online expression, mis/dis-information, mal-information and ‘fake news’, the increasing concentration of media ownership, and the rise of populist expression. Particularly, we seek to explore what can the ECtHR do to address the most problematic freedom of expression-related questions raised by illiberal democracies and restrictive political regimes within Europe. Freedoms of judicial, academic, artistic, political, journalistic and corporate expression fall squarely within the goals of this workshop.'

The deadline for submission of abstracts (maximum 500 words) is 31 January 2020. Please submit to starke at .  

Tuesday 3 December 2019

Launch of New Journal: European Convention on Human Rights Law Review

The landscape of academic human rights journals continues to grow. It is a pleasure to announce here that two ECHR experts, Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou and by Vassilis Tzevelekos, are launching a new journal exclusively dedicated to the ECHR: the European Convention on Human Rights Law Review, to be published with Brill. The journal's aim is to 'connect law and practice and look at the ECHR from a multi-disciplinary perspective.' in the creators words it is 'the first scholarly journal devoted exclusively to the legal regime of ECHR. The Review offers peer-reviewed, legal scholarship on the protection of fundamental human rights within the ECHR framework and on its implications for other regional human rights regimes. It is a forum for inter alia comparative law, human rights law, international law and philosophy of law analysis of the practice and procedures of the ECHR regime. While favouring legal (doctrinal, theoretical and philosophical) analysis, the Review also publishes multi-disciplinary works at the crossroads of law, history, political science and economics. It is open to all methods and schools of thought, including, comparative, doctrinal, quantitative and economic analysis of (case) law. It offers scholarship and information of interest to scholars and practitioners, both in the member states and other regions, as well as to all those working in the field of human rights law.'

The journal accepts submissions of articles up to 18000 words, case comments of up to 10000 words and book reviews. To submit articles, click here. The new journal can also be followed on twitter: @LawECHR .