Monday 25 March 2024

New ECHR Articles in the HRLR

The newest issue of the Human Rights Law Review (Volume 24, Issue 1, March 2024) has been published, which includes a symposium. - partly comparable with a special issue - on the theme of 'The European Court of Human Rights and the Theoretical Crisis of Human Rights'. In addition, it includes also another ECHR-related article. Here is the list with abstracts:

* Bosko Tripkovic and Alain Zysset, ‘Uncovering the Nature of ECHR Rights: An Analytical and Methodological Framework’, Human Rights Law Review (2024):
‘How does the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) understand the nature of human rights? The article develops a framework for the analysis of this question and shows how it can be applied. The first part identifies a gap at the intersection of doctrinal and philosophical approaches to human rights practice that leaves the ECtHR’s understanding of the nature of rights unaccounted for. The second part develops an analytic and methodological framework based on the idea of grounds, content and scope of human rights to bridge this disciplinary divide and facilitate a more perspicuous analysis of the Court’s conception of the nature of human rights. The third part tests this framework by examining the Court’s doctrines in relation to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and the right to free elections.’
* Corina Heri, ‘Deference, Dignity and ‘Theoretical Crisis’: Justifying ECtHR Rights Between Prudence and Protection’, Human Rights Law Review (2024):
‘The present article engages with human rights law’s purported ‘theoretical crisis’, according to which rights—and specifically those in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)—are bereft of a convincing theoretical foundation. In doing so, the article interrogates the use of crisis-oriented language, challenging the very idea of a ‘theoretical crisis’ of rights. Identifying the tension between judicial activism and judicial deference as the source of the crisis narrative, this piece engages with the theoretical foundations of ECHR rights, rejecting binary opposition between opposing moral and political accounts of these rights. It presents an alternative account by framing human rights as capable of combining convincing moral foundations with institutional and political realities. This means melding principle and dynamism, and using moral values to interrogate a human rights law that remains indivisible from its institutional backdrop. Under this account, both the Court’s tools of deference, especially its European consensus doctrine, and the objection of rights inflationism must be subjected to scrutiny. This article straddles theory and practice to allow for a fresh perspective concerning the justification of rights, what is at stake, who bears the burden of restraint, and how current responses to backlash should be re-evaluated.’
* Steven Wheatley, ‘Interpreting the ECHR in Light of the Increasingly High Standards Being Required by Human Rights: Insights from Social Ontology’, Human Rights Law Review (2024):
‘This article looks to make sense of those cases where the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) changes its position on interpretation in light of the increasingly high standards being required by human rights, when the Court applies the doctrine of evolutive interpretation to the ECHR’s object and purpose, as a Convention for the protection of ‘human rights’ (e.g. Selmouni v France). This raises two questions: What do we mean when we speak about ‘human rights’? Can the demands of human rights really change over time? Looking to the insights from social ontology, we can think of human rights as a social institution, emerging with the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and evolving with changes in human rights practices. Understood this way, reliance on the increasingly high standard doctrine becomes defensible when the ECtHR judgments are consistent with the evolving practices on human rights and the moral values that underpin the UDHR.’
* Lea Raible, ‘Allocating Human Rights Obligations in the ECHR’, Human Rights Law Review (2024):
‘This article asks how to allocate human rights obligations stemming from the European Convention on Human Rights and defends an interpretivist account of human rights based on the values of integrity and equality to answer it. First, it considers the structure of rights and argues that human rights usually require a duty bearer who needs to be identified. Second, the article analyses interest-based theories of human rights and shows that they do not speak to the allocation of duties. Third, I argue that duties can only be allocated relying on a normative principle and that an interpretivist account of human rights allows for underlying values to be identified. Fourth, I show that these values should be understood to be integrity and equality. Finally, the article applies the framework to the judgment in Carter v Russia, showing that an explicitly normative account supplies principled distinctions where other approaches cannot.’
* Başak Çalı, ‘Does the Practice of the European Convention on Human Rights Fit the Practical Conception of Human Rights?’, Human Rights Law Review (2024):
‘This article investigates how the practice of European human rights, organised around the European Convention on Human Rights, can be brought into conversation with the practice conception of human rights advanced by Charles Beitz in the Idea of Human Rights. The article argues that this is a challenging task. Following Beitz’s construction of the human rights practice composed of (a) a global practice, (b) political discursive practice, (c) triggering a range of international action for corrective concern, (d) when states fail to protect urgent individual interests, the article identifies two main challenges: (1) the regional and legal-political character of the European human rights practice and (2) the lack of fit between the heuristic of urgency of individual interests and the European human rights practice. Having identified these challenges, however, I conclude that putting European human rights practice and the practice conception into a conversation reveals new knowledge at the intersection of moral and legal accounts of human rights. A closer engagement with the practice conception enables a better understanding of the key abstract features of European human rights practice. A closer engagement with this practice accentuates the normative case for making sense of predominantly legal and regional practices of human rights.’
* Alon Harel, ‘The Tension between the National and ECHR Human Rights Adjudication: A Normative’, Human Rights Law Review (2024):
‘This article examines cases of conflicting decisions between the ECHR and State Courts. I argue for ‘discordant adjudicative parity.’ According to discordant adjudicative parity, there are compelling non-instrumental reasons for having both international adjudicative institutions and state adjudicative institutions that can make binding, conflicting decisions. Binding decisions by international adjudicative institutions embody the understanding that human rights are duties rather than decisions that are voluntarily undertaken. State Courts facilitate deliberative engagement on the part of citizens as, ultimately, the citizens are in charge of States’ courts. I use this analysis to justify the principle of subsidiarity in European law.’
* Julen Etxabe, ‘Borrowed Words and Judicial Gestalt: A Dialogical Reading of Hirst, the ECtHR and Prisoner Voting Rights’, Human Rights Law Review (2024):
‘This article suggests that judgments of the European Court of Human Rights exhibit a textual quality that Mikhail Bakhtin called dialogism, namely, a kind of discourse constituted by a plurality of mutually effecting and interpenetrated voices. Such compositional choice is not just a lengthy prolegomenon to any decision, nor an unnecessary appendix that could be safely eliminated; it is actually fundamental for the construction—and comprehension—of any ECtHR opinion. In this article, I will focus on the 2005 case of Hirst, in which the Grand Chamber declared that the UK legislative blanket ban on prisoner voting is incompatible with the European Convention of Human Rights. As a controversial case about as-yet live-wire issues, Hirst can be shown to be a profoundly dialogized text despite all appearances to the contrary, which paves the way for a more general argument about the dialogical practice of adjudication by the Court.’