Right To Privacy/Family Life

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Climate Change before the Courts: Urgenda Ruling Redraws the Boundary between Law and Politics

On the 9th of October, the Hague Court of Appeal upheld the first-instance judgment in the Urgenda case, ordering the Dutch State to reduce greenhouse gas emissions more progressively than planned by the government. The appeal judgment was applauded across the world and welcomed as a source of inspiration for climate change litigation in other jurisdictions. At the same time, the ruling has evoked criticism in the Netherlands, where commentators wondered if the court had not overstepped the boundary between law and politics, violating the separation of powers (eg in Dutch here, here, and here). The ruling raises intricate questions concerning the proper role of domestic courts in securing compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in matters of general policy. Arguably, the judgment expands the role of courts beyond what Dutch constitutional law allows them to do, but this expansion fits with the increasing emphasis put on the notion of subsidiarity by the Member States of the Council of Europe. Greenhouse Gas Emissions…

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Intelligence Sharing and the Right to Privacy after the European Court Judgment in Big Brother Watch v. UK

On 13 September 2018, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in three consolidated cases brought by 14 human rights organisations and 2 individuals against the UK government’s mass interception program and its access to the intelligence gathered by other governments, including the United States (Big Brother Watch v. UK, nos. 58170/13, 62322/14, 24960/15.) As noted…

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ECtHR Judgment in Big Brother Watch v. UK

Last week the European Court of Human Rights issued a highly anticipated blockbuster Chamber judgment in Big Brother Watch v. UK, nos. 58170/13, 62322/14, 24960/15. This is the first mass electronic surveillance case to be decided against the UK after the Edward Snowden revelations, and it touches upon numerous issues. The judgment is nuanced, complex,…

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European Court of Justice Bans Homosexuality Tests for Asylum Seekers

Asylum seekers in European Union countries will no longer be subject to psychological tests to prove their homosexuality, according to a decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on 25 January 2018. In F v. Bevándorlási és Állampolgársági Hivatal, the ECJ declared the illegality of the use of psychological reports based on projective personality tests in…

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The IACtHR Advisory Opinion: one step forward or two steps back for LGBTI rights in Costa Rica?

On 9th January 2018, the IACtHR issued Advisory Opinion No. 24 on gender identity, equality and non-discrimination for same-sex couples, a ground-breaking decision for the advancement of LGBTI rights in the Americas. However, the adverse effect it had on the recent presidential elections in Costa Rica may jeopardise this achievement. The Advisory Opinion was requested by…

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