Prohibition of Discrimination

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State and Corporate Homophobia: A Commentary on the Olivera Fuentes v. Peru case

On 11 April 2023, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (“the Court”) published its long-awaited ruling in the Olivera Fuentes v. Peru case. The decision holds personal significance to Crissthian Olivera, a pioneering defender of LGBTIQ+ rights in Latin America, as it was the culmination of a 19-year journey to deliver justice following discrimination he faced due to his sexual orientation and gender expression. The case addressed three pivotal issues under the American Convention on Human Rights (“the American Convention”): (i) the use of homophobic stereotypes in domestic rulings, (ii) the burden of proof for victims of discrimination by private actors, and (iii) the scope of anti-discrimination obligations for corporations. It should also be noted that this is the first of the Court’s ten decisions on the subject to adopt the expanded acronym LGBTIQ+. Prior to this case, the Court’s preferred acronym was LGBTI. The facts On 11 August 2004, Olivera and his partner were seated in a supermarket cafeteria in…

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The Caster Semenya Judgment of the ECtHR: Why It Should Not be the Final Whistle?

The legal marathon of Caster Semenya against regulations of the sport governing body (SGB) overseeing athletics has emerged as one of the most contentious legal battles, reaching the pinnacle of the European human rights framework. Semenya is a South African runner with naturally higher testosterone levels than other females. She refused to submit herself to World…

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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…

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Generous, but Equal Treatment? Anti-Discrimination Duties of States Hosting Refugees Fleeing Ukraine

More than 5 million refugees have recently fled Ukraine, the fastest-growing mass displacement in this century. About a quarter of Ukraine’s population and half of its children have fled their homes. The European Union (EU) responded with a first-time activation of the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD). Lurking behind tremendous generosity, States have treated…

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CEDAW’s Landmark Decision on the Criminalisation of Same Sex Conduct Between Women

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera (RFC v Sri Lanka), is a human rights activist and the Executive Director of Equal Ground which campaigns for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights in Sri Lanka. Ms Flamer-Caldera is a lesbian, and is open about her sexuality. Her activism on these issues is well-recognised both inside and outside of the country…

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