European Court of Human Rights

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Derogating to Deal with Covid 19: State Practice and Thoughts on the Need for Notification

In her blog post on EJIL: Talk! (9 April 2020), Dr Stevie Martin drew attention to an interesting development concerning States' measures to deal with Covid 19 and their impact on human rights. She discusses a decision of the England and Wales Court of Protection in which a judge appeared to find that the UK was derogating from its obligations under Article 5 ECHR, when no notification had been deposited with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe informing other States parties of any UK derogation in relation to its efforts to deal with Covid 19. Professor Dapo Akande commented on the blog post, raising several interesting questions, including: whether national courts are competent to pronounce a derogation, and whether notification is a requirement for the State to be able to rely on the derogation provision. I wanted to share some up-to-date State practice on derogations from the ECHR dealing with Covid 19 and to add some commentary, particularly on the question whether notification is a requirement for a…

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A Domestic Court’s Attempt to Derogate from the ECHR on behalf of the United Kingdom: the implications of Covid-19 on judicial decision-making in the United Kingdom

It is perhaps trite to note that for many countries throughout the world Covid-19 represents an unprecedented (as least in terms of modern peacetime history) public health emergency. It is inevitable that during this time some decisions will be made that are controversial, both ethically and legally. It will take careful reflection in the wake of the pandemic…

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Supervision of Derogations in the Wake of COVID-19: a litmus test for the Secretary General of the Council of Europe

The pandemic COVID-19 has triggered a record number of derogations from the European Convention on Human Rights (the ‘ECHR’ or the ‘Convention’). By now, Albania, Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, North Macedonia and Romania have notified the Secretary General of the Council of Europe (the ‘Secretary General’) of their derogations from the ECHR. More States may…

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NGOs and ECtHR judges: A Clarification

The 5 March blog post by Grégor Puppinck is not really a result of academic research, nor does it manage to identify an actual problem of public policy. Despite its civility in style and appearance of balance, the blog post, as well as the underlying European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) report written by the…

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NGOs and judges at the ECtHR: a need for clarification

What are the relationships between the judges of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and leading non-governmental organisations, and what should the Court be doing about them, particularly in cases in which doubts as to the judges’ impartiality might arise? This is the topic of this post, which is  worthy of interest and needs to be addressed,…

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