European Convention on Human Rights

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How to Maneuver Around Acknowledging the Right to Access Abortion: Some Thoughts on the ECtHR’s judgment in M.L. v Poland

On 14 December 2023, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, Court) issued its much-awaited judgment in M.L. v Poland, i.e. in one of the approximately 1000 applications submitted before it regarding the Polish restrictive abortion policy. The application concerned the alleged violation of the applicant’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as she had to travel abroad to a private clinic to terminate her pregnancy despite carrying a foetus that was diagnosed with Trisomy 21. This barrier was a result of the legislative amendments that were introduced by the Polish Constitutional Court’s judgment of 22 October 2020, which effectively banned access to abortion even in cases of foetal abnormalities. This blog post seeks to highlight the shortcomings of the judgment against the background of other human rights bodies’ jurisprudence, and to criticise the Court’s manoeuvring around the explicit acknowledgement and stronger protection of abortion rights under the ECHR. Overview of the Applicant’s Claims…

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The Mariupol Test: Analysing the Briefs of Third States Intervening in Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia

The interstate case of Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia is currently pending on its merits before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. It is one of the most complex and politically momentous cases ever to be heard by the Court. Russia is no longer participating in the proceedings, and will not comply with…

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Countering Instrumentalised Migration: The case for Border Closure Through a Derogation under the ECHR

As examined in Felix Peerbom’s recent post, the phenomenon of instrumentalised migration has made its unwanted return to the European Union’s (EU) external borders. Instrumentalised migration refers to cross-border population movements that have been deliberately created or manipulated in order to induce political, military and/or economic concessions from a target state or states (Greenhill 2010 p.

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Challenges in Executing Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights: the Case of the Roma

What does it mean for a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights to be “executed”?   In European Convention parlance, “execution” is a term that carries within it a great deal of potential, if unexplained, meaning. Article 46 of the Convention provides that “The High Contracting Parties undertake to abide” –…

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Life & Death, an Unstable Scale: The European Court of Human Rights Approach to Euthanasia in Mortier v. Belgium

On 4 October 2022, the European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) issued a Chamber judgment in the case of Mortier v. Belgium. This landmark ruling is the first-ever ruling of the ECtHR on the compliance of euthanasia, once performed, with the rights protected under the European Convention of Human Rights (“ECHR”). Additionally,…

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