Strasbourg Observers

Of statues and Santa Claus: does Article 10 protect hooliganism acts on a historical figure’s statue?

August 25, 2021

By Juncal Montero Regules, PhD fellow of Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) at the faculty of Law, Hasselt University On 6 April 2021, the Fourth Section of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, the Court) held that a non-criminal conviction for placing Santa Claus accessories on a communist leader’s statue in the context of nation-wide […]

Kurt v Austria: A missed chance to tackle intersectional discrimination and gender-based stereotyping in domestic violence cases

August 18, 2021

By Lisa Maria Weinberger* On 15 June 2021, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rendered its judgment on the domestic violence case Kurt v Austria. This case concerned a woman in Austria who experienced domestic violence at the hands of her husband, which resulted in his murdering their son. Based […]

The first COVID-19 related collective complaint before the European Committee of Social Rights deemed inadmissible: Greek Bar Associations v. Greece.

August 11, 2021

By Maria Kotsoni, PhD researcher at the Department of Law of the European University Institute Just a few months after the inadmissibility judgement of Le Mailloux v. France, another inadmissibility decision was adopted in a case related to states’ socio-economic management of the COVID-19 crisis. Only this time it was the European Committee of Social […]

Tőkés v. Romania: the struggle to identify the form and content that objectify a flag within the right to freedom of expression

August 09, 2021

By Xavier Farré Fabregat, research assistant at IPERG (Universitat de Barcelona) Introduction The political articulation of minorities in a centrist and hierarchical State can challenge pre-designed institutional responses, (over)stretching the limits of rights and duties held by citizens and the State. In the present case, the display of two minority flags by former politician Lázló […]

Admissibility of ByLock-related data as evidence is now under the scrutiny of the European Court

July 07, 2021

by Yasir Gökce* Almost every smartphone user would have likely downloaded a sort of messaging app onto their phone and/or corresponded by means of it. Imagine that one day the government asserts that the messaging app you have been enjoying has long been used by a group that the government declares “terrorist” and that on […]

Gasangusenov v. Russia and the right to life: When the ECtHR establishes state responsibility with the wrong reasoning

July 05, 2021

Dr Dilek Kurban (Fellow and Lecturer, Hertie School, and Max Weber post-doctoral fellow, EUI, 2021-2022) What should a supranational human rights court do when faced with a case concerning extrajudicial execution of civilians by a state agent? Certainly not what the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or the Court) has done in the case […]

Valdís Fjölnisdóttir and Others v Iceland: cross-border surrogacy and foster care. What about the best interests of the child?

June 30, 2021

By Dr Marianna Iliadou, Teaching Fellow in Medical Law and Ethics at Durham University, UK. On 18 May 2021, the Third Section of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or the Court) delivered a judgment on the contested issue of non-recognition of the parent-child relationship for a child born through cross-border surrogacy. Surrogacy is […]

Much Ado About Mass Surveillance – the ECtHR Grand Chamber ‘Opens the Gates of an Electronic “Big Brother” in Europe’ in Big Brother Watch v UK

June 28, 2021

By Dr Eliza Watt, researcher in cyber law, lecturer in law, Middlesex University, London, UK. On 25 May 2021 the Grand Chamber (GC) of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, the Court) handed down its much-anticipated decision in Big Brother Watch and Others v the UK (Big Brother Watch). The case is of vital […]

Xhoxhaj v. Albania: The Aftermath of the Vetting Process in Albania

June 25, 2021

By Ina Xhepa, lawyer and Executive Director at the European Centre (Albania) Over the last decade, the Albanian judiciary was considered to be one of the weakest aspects of the functioning of the rule of law in the country. Field surveys revealed high levels of corruption and led to the loss of citizen’s trust towards […]

Disenfranchisement of woman with a disability (yet again) reveals ECtHR’s struggle with CRPD in Caamaño Valle v. Spain

June 23, 2021

By Merel Vrancken, PhD student and assistant in constitutional law at UHasselt. In the case of Caamaño Valle v. Spain, the ECtHR held that the disenfranchisement of a woman with a mental disability did not amount to a violation of her right to vote under art. 3 of Protocol No. 1, nor did it amount […]

Bivolaru and Moldovan v. France: A New Challenge for Mutual Trust in the European Union?

June 22, 2021

By William Julié, founding partner of William Julié Law Office and international criminal law officer at the International Bar Association, and Juliette Fauvarque, trainee lawyer at William Julié Law Office. In the recent Bivolaru and Moldovan v. France case, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) handed a landmark judgment in relation to the execution […]

Falling at the First Hurdle? Terheş v Romania: Lockdowns and Normalising the Exception

June 18, 2021

By Alan Greene* Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and the petitions challenging many of the exceptional powers enacted by states across Europe, cases are now beginning to trickle though to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR; the Court). In a blog post on this website last year, I cautioned against the dangers […]

Council of Europe at 72: Defusing the Defence Clause, Engaging the Acquis

June 15, 2021

This post was written by Dr Andrew Forde Winston Churchill caused quite a stir in 1950 when he used the platform of the Council of Europe’s (CoE) then Consultative Assembly (now Parliamentary Assembly) to call for the creation of a European Army. The Committee of Ministers (CM) politely but firmly rebuked the Assembly’s proposal on […]

‘A Court that matters’ to whom and for what? Academic freedom as a (non-)impact case

June 11, 2021

By Başak Çalı[*] & Esra Demir-Gürsel[†] On 17 March 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR or the Court) announced a new case-processing strategy. A document dramatically titled ‘A Court that matters’ states that the aim of this strategy is to deal with the pending cases on its docket in a more ‘targeted’ and […]