European Court of Human Rights

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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 Sochi Olympics, when Pussy Riot members attempted to perform one of their songs (‘Putin Will Teach You to Love the Motherland’) behind a poster promoting the Olympics, but were prevented from doing so and assaulted verbally and physically, including through the use of corded whips, by several Cossack troopers. Here’s a video of the incident: In Verzilov, the Court (unsurprisingly) found violations of Articles 3 (bodily integrity) and 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention. There is some interesting, but not terribly novel or controversial, analysis here, for example as to the ‘minimum of severity’ threshold of Article 3 (which the Court finds has been crossed – paras. 71-74, and later finds to have…

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A Judgment Leaking from the European Court: The Case of Kovačević v Bosnia and Herzegovina

It was a hot Sunday when, a Bosnian media outlet, published a sensational piece of news – the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) had upheld the complaint of Slaven Kovačević, the political advisor of Željko Komšić, a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BaH). The news was subsequently reposted in…

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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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From Farmakonisi to Pylos at the ECtHR

In July 2022 the ECtHR published its judgement in the case Safi and others v. Greece, pronouncing on what came to be known as the Farmakonisi shipwreck of 2014. The investigation of the Pylos shipwreck of June 14th, the second deadliest on record in the Mediterranean since 2015, is still underway. According to…

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