European Convention on Human Rights

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When Should ECtHR Proceedings Become ‘Horizontal’? The Issue of the ‘Interested’ Third Party in A.S. and M.S. v. Italy

On 19 October 2023 the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or ‘the Court’) issued its judgment in the case of A.M. and M.S. v. Italy (no. 68618/22). It falls within a group of judgments finding violations of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR or ‘the Convention’) on account of the Italian authorities’ failure to guarantee fathers’ contact rights due to the opposition of their children’s mothers (see, recently, A and others v. Italy, A.T. v. Italy, R.B. and M. v. Italy, and Improta v. Italy). It also developed the scope of the rights guaranteed by Article 8 ECHR. Relying on other international instruments (see paras. 107 and 109), the Court found for the first time that a suffocating relationship between a parent and a child, and the psychological manipulation exercised by the former over the latter, may amount to ‘psychological violence’ against children. Therefore, this situation was considered to fall within the notion…

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Climate Change Hearings and the ECtHR Round II

On Wednesday the 26th of September, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held oral hearings in Duarte Agostinho and Others v. Portugal and 32 others, which is one of the three climate change cases currently pending before the Grand Chamber (seven other cases have been adjourned pending the Grand Chamber’s decision…

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Cossacks, Pussy Riot, and the Attribution of Conduct: A Comment on Verzilov v. Russia

On 29 August, a Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its judgment in Verzilov and others v. Russia (no. 25276/15). This is the second case before the Court to concern the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot, after Mariya Alekhina and Others v. Russia (no. 38004/12). Verzilov concerned an incident during the…

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Kovačević v Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the saga of the Dayton Peace Agreement’s incompatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights  

In December 2009, the European Court of Human Rights found in Sejdić and Finci that the electoral system in Bosnia and Herzegovina was discriminatory as it did not allow a Jew and a Roma citizen to be elected in the House of Peoples (the second chamber of the State Parliament) or the Presidency. The two citizens were…

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The Human Rights Backlash in Criminal Justice: The Case of Russia’s Exit from the European Convention on Human Rights

Large-scale conflicts such as the Russia – Ukraine crisis transform societal structures of the regions involved. Much analysis has already focused on changes in Russian politics, economy, culture, etc. However, some gradual and heterogeneous reconfigurations in Russia’s legal system can easily be overlooked, especially if these do not immediately produce significant political events attracting scholars’ attention.

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