Monday 10 October 2022

New Book on Private Actors and the Procedure Before the European Court

A bit over a week ago, my Utrecht Law School colleague and SIM fellow Claire Loven successfully defended her PhD dissertation. Followers of this blog may know her as the moderator of our MOOC on the ECHR. Dr Loven's monograph has already been published with Intersentia Publishers in the Human Rights Research Series and is entitled Fundamental Rights Violations by Private Actors and the Procedure Before the European Court of Human Rights. The PhD thesis was written under the supervision of my Utrecht colleagues professors Janneke Gerards and Cedric Ryngaert. I had the pleasure of serving as a member of the reading committee and can attest that it is lucidly written and contains a very thorough and well-researched analysis of what dr Loven has dubbed 'verticalised cases' before the European Court. This is the abstract:

'Article 34 of the European Convention on Human Rights prescribes that individual applications must be directed against one of the Convention States. Consequently, private actors involved in proceedings against other private actors before domestic courts must complain about State (in)action in their application to the European Court of Human Rights. In other words, originally ‘horizontal’ conflicts must be ‘verticalised’ in order to be admissible. Although such verticalised cases make up a large portion of the Court’s case law, the particular nature of these cases, as well as procedural issues that may arise in them, has not received much attention. To fill this gap, this book offers a detailed examination of verticalised cases coming before the Court. The characteristics of and the Court’s approach to verticalised cases are explored by means of an in-depth analysis of four types of verticalised cases (cases related to one’s surroundings; cases involving a conflict between the right to reputation and private life and the right to freedom of expression; family life cases; and employer-employee cases). On the basis of this analysis, it is argued that the Court’s current approach to verticalised cases poses problems for private actors, Convention States and the Court itself. In presenting recommendations for the resolution of these problems, the book concludes with a proposal for a new approach to verticalised cases, consisting of a redesigned third-party intervention procedure.'

Congrats once again, Claire!