European Convention on Human Rights

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Summit of Fire and Ice 4th: Council of Europe Summit, Reykjavík

Iceland is known as “the land of fire and ice.”  Its dramatic volcanoes are constantly and rapidly shaping a new complexion in the north-west European island state, whilst its seemingly unchanging glaciers slowly and stubbornly carve through the landscape. Fire and ice are words that also come to mind when one reflects on the historic Summit of Council of Europe Heads of State and Government held on 16 – 17 May 2023 to conclude Iceland’s Presidency of the Committee of Ministers (CM) because of the profound evolution of the organisations focus on the one hand, and the near absence of progress on the other. The Summit focussed principally on four overarching issues: 1) ensuring accountability for Russia’s crimes in Ukraine, 2) reviving commitment to the ECHR control system, 3) reiterating fundamental principles of democracy, and 4) advancing the agenda of human rights and the environment. Clearly, the Reykjavík Declaration and its five substantive appendices have the potential to significantly strengthen the Council of…

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Amicus Curiae Brief in Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia

The European Court of Human Rights recently joined two major interstate cases pending before it – the interstate case filed by Ukraine and the Netherlands against Russia that concerned the downing of the MH17 airliner and events in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, which it declared admissible in January, with the new interstate application filed by Ukraine…

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The Objective Friends of the Court – New Insights into the Role of Third Parties before the European Court of Human Rights

On 20 March 2023, the European Court of Human Rights published a Practice Direction on the modalities of Third-Party Intervention and announced an amendment of the Rules of Court. The clarifications and changes contained therein could not come at a better time. Just three days earlier, the Court had announced that 26 member States would intervene…

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J.A. and Others v. Italy – Is the European Court of Human Rights turning its focus to maritime migrants?

Between 9 and 10 March 2023, around 1,350 migrants arrived on the island of Lampedusa (Italy) by boat after a dangerous crossing of the central Mediterranean Sea. These reports are nothing new. Lampedusa has been known in recent years for the inhuman conditions in its overcrowded ‘hotspot centres’ for migrants. More generally,…

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KlimaSeniorinnen v. Switzerland – A New Era for Climate Change Protection or Proceeding with the Status Quo?

Climate change scholars and members of the public are dedicating their attention to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, the Court) in Strasbourg, where its first climate change cases are being decided. Currently, three climate cases are pending before the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR: Verein KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz and Others v. Switzerland (application no. 53600/20), Carême v.

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