Der Elefant im Raum

Man kann das Urteil N.D. und N.T. gg. Spanien der großen Kammer des EGMR so sehen, dass hier zwei auf illegalen Wegen angekommene, nicht schutzbedürftige Migranten auf legale Zugangswege verwiesen wurden. Wer es dafür feiert, übersieht die unvertretbaren Implikationen, die das Urteil für die effektive Gewährleistung des Refoulement-Verbots hat.

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A Restrictionist Revolution?

The immediate response to the ECtHR’s N.D. & N.T.-Judgment on ‘Hot Expulsions’ at the Spanish-Moroccan Border was shock and dismay – but the decision can also be read differently: as defined by a series of inbuilt ambiguities that combine restrictionist tendencies with dynamic elements, which are bound to cause heated debates of both principle and practice in the coming years.

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A Painful Slap from the ECtHR and an Urgent Opportunity for Spain

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights shockingly endorses a practice which opposes the core principles of International Law and the protection of fundamental rights. This decision repeals a previous ECtHR judgement of 2017 which had condemned push-backs and which Spain had asked to be referred to the Grand Chamber. But all hope is not lost: The Spanish Constitutional Court will rule on the “rejections at the border” provision in the near future and has the chance to uphold Spain’s international legal obligations.

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“Unlawful” may not mean rightless.

Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 ECHR is short. Its title reads “Prohibition of collective expulsion of aliens”, its text reads: “Collective expulsion of aliens is prohibited.” It comes as a historical disappointment that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in its decision in the case N.D. and N.T. v. Spain from 13 February 2020 distorts this clear guarantee to exclude apparently “unlawful” migrants from its protection. The decision is a shock for the effective protection of rights in Europe and at its external borders.

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Menschenrechte im Mittelmeer

Was bedeutet es Rechte zu haben? Diese Frage bekommt drängende Relevanz, wenn es um die Reichweite menschenrechtlicher Verantwortung geht, so im Fall S.S. und andere gegen Italien, der vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte anhängig ist. Der EGMR hat zu entscheiden, inwiefern die Unterstützung der libyschen Küstenwache und Koordination von Rettungsaktionen eine Verantwortung Italiens nach der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention auslöst.

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Alles eine Frage der eigenen „Wahl“?

Am 21. November 2019 hat die Große Kammer des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte in Straßburg (EGMR) seine Entscheidung über die ungarischen Transitzonen gefällt. Die Entscheidung dürfte in Bezug auf Transitzonen an europäischen Landgrenzen einen Präzedenzfall geschaffen haben – wobei das Urteil sehr problematische Implikationen enthält.

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In Rights We Trust

Cases concerning the execution of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) provide seemingly endless material for new questions of fundamental importance to the relationship of the multiple constitutional layers in Europe. In a barely noted judgment in the case of Romeo Castaño v. Belgium, the European Court of Human Rights has now added an important piece to this puzzle. The judgment indicates that, in the light of other recent jurisprudence of both the Court of Justice of the EU and the ECtHR, both Courts are on their way to find a workable framework to address some of the issues in this field.

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