European Convention on Human Rights

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Basu v. Germany and Muhammad v. Spain: Why the first European Court of Human Rights’ judgments on racial profiling in identity checks are disappointing  

Racial profiling by the police is a mounting concern in Europe. It has been defined by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) as “the use by the police, with no objective or reasonable justification, of grounds such as race, colour, language, religion, nationality or national or ethnic origin in control, surveillance or investigation activities” (ECRI General Recommendation 11, §1). Numerous international and European institutions, including the UN Human Rights Committee (Rosalind Williams Lecraft v Spain), the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, and the European Parliament, have condemned this practice as discriminatory and called upon states to take measures to tackle it. In addition to being contrary to human rights, it is said to be ineffective, because it relies on stereotypes and gross generalizations rather than factual grounds or reasonable suspicion, and counterproductive as it damages the relationship between the police and certain communities, by stirring feelings of injustice and stigmatization. Nonetheless, a wealth of studies and reports…

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The European Court’s Admissibility Decision in Ukraine and the Netherlands v Russia: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Part II

In the first part of this post I talked about the (many) good things about the European Court’s admissibility decision in Ukraine and the Netherlands v Russia. In particular, the conclusion that Russia controlled the separatist areas of Eastern Ukraine from 2014 up to the oral hearing in the case in 2022 and…

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The European Court’s Admissibility Decision in Ukraine and the Netherlands v Russia: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Part I

Yesterday the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights delivered its much-anticipated decision on jurisdiction and admissibility in the interstate case of Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia (nos 8019/16, 43800/14 and 28525/20 – decision; press release). The Court declared the applications admissible, in a clear win for the applicant…

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J.I. v. Croatia: Violence against Roma women – discrimination not an issue?

J.I. v. Croatia (8.09.2022) is the first European Court of Human Rights case arising from domestic violence against a Roma woman and the second related to sexual violence against a Roma girl. Police were neglectful. The intervener exposed systemic police normalisation, and disregard of, Roma intra-community violence against women.  A procedural violation of Article…

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The Gender of Treaty Withdrawal: Lessons from the Istanbul Convention

In the early hours of 20 March 2021 the Turkish Official Gazette announced—in a one sentence statement that offered no explanation—that the President Erdoğan had decided to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, the Council of Europe treaty on preventing and combating violence against women. Two days later, the Communication Directorate of the President offered this justification: “The…

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