Friday 22 October 2021

40 Years Dudgeon Judgment

Today, it is exactly 40 years since the issuing of the famous Dudgeon v the United Kingdom by the European Court of Human Rights. To mark the occasion of this landmark judgment, the Council of Europe has published a video and an article which looks back on the judgment and its impact since on LGBTI persons. According to the press release:

'The video includes interviews with Jeffrey Dudgeon, the applicant in the case, LGBTI rights advocates, Brian Gilmore, Richard Kennedy and Douglas Sobey, Head of Litigation with ILGA Europe, Arpi Avetisyan, the British judge at the European Court of Human Rights, Tim Eicke, and the Head of the Council of Europe’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Unit, Eleni Tsetsekou. They explain the background to the case, the position taken by the European Court of Human Rights and the importance of the judgment in helping to influence international standards and national legislation on LGBTI issues, as well as wider perceptions of homosexuality and gender identity.'

An important testimony of history and on how landmark cases can influence subsequent developments. And a rare opportunity to hear and see a 'famous'. ECtHR applicant speak.

Friday 15 October 2021

New Issue ECHR Law Review

The newest edition of the European Convention on Human Rights Law Review (Vol. 2, Issue 2, 2021) is a special issue dedicated to 'The Council of Europe’s Responses to the Decay of the Rule of Law and Human Rights Protections'. It has been co-edited by Basak Çalı & Esra Demir-Gürsel. These are the contents:


* Başak Çali and Esra Demir-Gürsel, 'The Council of Europe’s Responses to the Decay of the Rule of Law and Human Rights Protections: A Comparative Appraisal'


* Mikael Rask Madsen, 'The Narrowing of the European Court of Human Rights? Legal Diplomacy, Situational Self-Restraint, and the New Vision for the Court'

* Emre Turkut, 'The Venice Commission and Rule of Law Backsliding in Turkey, Poland and Hungary' 

* Alice Donald And Anne-Katrin Speck, 'Time for the Gloves to Come Off?: The Response by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to Rule of Law Backsliding'

* Başak Çali, 'How Loud Do the Alarm Bells Toll? Execution of ‘Article 18 Judgments’ of the European Court of Human Rights'

* Esra Demir-Gürsel , 'The Former Secretary General of the Council of Europe Confronting Russia’s Annexation of the Crimea and Turkey’s State of Emergency'

Friday 8 October 2021

ECHR Articles in Newest NQHR

The newest edition of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights (NQHR, volume 39, issue 3) includes two new academic articles related to the ECHR:

* Dimitrios Kagiaros, 'Reassessing the framework for the protection of civil servant whistleblowers in the European Court of Human Rights':

'The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or Court) has included civil servant whistleblowers in the protective ambit of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The article argues that the Court should revisit its approach to proportionality in such cases. When determining whether a restriction to a civil servant whistleblower's free speech was necessary in a democratic society, the Court weighs what the article identifies as the quasi-public watchdog function of whistleblowers (namely their role in imparting information on matters of public concern) against their duties and responsibilities as civil servants. In some instances, the Court gives primacy to whistleblowers’ duties of loyalty to the government over their contribution to the accountability of public bodies. The article challenges this approach on the basis that it fails to adequately consider the key justification that underpins the Court's recognition of whistleblowing as speech, namely the audience interest in receiving the information the whistleblower discloses. The article argues that the Court should give primacy to the watchdog function of whistleblowers. It concludes by making suggestions on how the ECtHR can adopt a more principled approach to proportionality in whistleblowing cases.'

* Katie Pentney, 'Licensed to kill…discourse? agents provocateurs and a purposive right to freedom of expression':

'Undercover police operations have emerged from the shadows and into the spotlight in the United Kingdom as a result of a public inquiry into undercover policing and the enactment of the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act. The inquiry has revealed troubling details about the ways intelligence and police services have wielded their powers to infiltrate and undermine political groups and social movements over the course of five decades. The problem is not exclusive to the United Kingdom, but is seen the world over. Yet despite the widescale nature of the problem, the legality of agents provocateurs – undercover officers who infiltrate social and political movements to manipulate their messaging, instigate violent tactics and undermine public perception – has received scant attention in legal scholarship or the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. This article capitalises on the current spotlight to suggest that agents provocateurs can and should be conceived of as (potential) violations of the right to freedom of expression under the European Convention on Human Rights. A purposive approach is required to ensure protection for not only the means of expression – the exchange of information and ideas – but also the ends – vibrant democratic discourse and meaningful public debate.'