POSTS BY Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou

Sandu and Others v Russia and Moldova: The High Costs of Occupation

On 17 July 2018, the European Court on Human Rights reminded again that occupation of foreign lands and support of separatist regimes is a costly affair. This cost is not only calculated in terms of monetary repercussions but also in terms of reputational losses. On that day the chamber of the Court delivered a judgment in the case of Sandu and Others v Russia and Moldova. This judgment is a new one in the line of cases dealing with a breakaway region of Moldova – the self-proclaimed Republic of Transnistria.

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Prisoner Voting and Power Struggle: a Never-Ending Story?

On 29 October 2017, it was announced that the UK authorities are planning to revoke the blanket ban on prisoner voting and allow those who are sentenced to under a year in prison to go home for a day and vote. This was done to ensure the compliance with the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Hirst No 2 which was delivered in 2005. It took the UK government twelve years to come up with a proposal that would put English law in line with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

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Is there Hope for the Right to Hope?

The European Court of Human Rights has overturned its former position that convicts sentenced to life in prison enjoy a "right to hope" to be eventually released. Arguably, in this case we have an instance of interpretation of evolution which lowers rather than heightens human rights protection. In the current climate when there is a growing political appetite to curtail human rights, a Court interpretation towards change in this direction without good reasons may create a dangerous precedent for further reduction of basic human rights guarantees.

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Lustration in Ukraine: Political Cleansing or a Tool of Revenge?

To tackle corruption and disloyalty the Ukrainian government has proposed a law on government cleansing which is also known as the lustration law. This draft law has recently been examined by the Venice Commission resulting in the opinion adopted on 20 June 2015. Despite the opinion been quite critical the Ukrainian government was quick to announce that the Venice Commission has confirmed that the law in question does not violate any international human rights standards or any of the resolutions of the Council of Europe. The announcement also states that the Venice Commission suggested some technical amendments to the draft law which will be taken into account by the Ukrainian authorities. This statement however does not really reflect what the Venice Commission has observed in its opinion.

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Turning point: maintaining the independence of the European Court of Human Rights

2015 is a crucial year for the European Court of Human Rights: a new president will be elected, a major number of judges will be replaced. One can argue that the Court is going through a turning point in its history. The perceived independence of the Court is a key to its legitimacy, while proper, transparent and clear procedure of selection of judges is a basic requirement of such independence. The most crucial stage of the process is clearly the national round of selection of candidates. It should have clear and foreseeable rules, the information about the competition should be broadly available and the selection committee should be independent from the executives. In practice, however, this first stage is the most problematic.

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The European Court of Human Rights and the Armed Conflict between Russia and Ukraine

The European Court of Human Rights has announced that it has communicated to the government of Russia two inter-state complaints that the Ukraine has brought against it concerning the events that took place in the Crimea and the Eastern regions of Ukraine (‘the Donbas’) in the spring and summer of 2014. It seems that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine will pose a number of complex normative questions to the Court.

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The European Court of Human Rights and the Armed Conflict between Russia and Ukraine

The European Court of Human Rights has announced that it has communicated to the government of Russia two inter-state complaints that the Ukraine has brought against it concerning the events that took place in the Crimea and the Eastern regions of Ukraine (‘the Donbas’) in the spring and summer of 2014. It seems that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine will pose a number of complex normative questions to the Court.

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Gutachten aus Straßburg: Mehr Arbeit für den ohnehin überlasteten EGMR

Das europäische System des Menschenrechtsschutzes steht vor einer weitreichenden Reform. Die obersten nationalen Gerichte werden, wenn sie auf Schwierigkeiten bei der Auslegung der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention stoßen, den EGMR um ein Rechtsgutachten anrufen können. Diese Maßnahme könnte große Auswirkungen auf die Funktionalität des Systems haben – ob günstige oder nicht, wird sich erst noch zeigen.

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