Big Brother Watch and others v. the United Kingdom: A Victory of Human Rights over Modern Digital Surveillance?

The European Court of Human Rights delivered its long-awaited judgment in Big Brother Watch and others v. the United Kingdom. While this landmark decision marks a victory for the fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of expression over surveillance, it is also a missed opportunity for the Strasbourg Court.

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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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The Curious Case of Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code: Insulting the Turkish President

Judgments by the Strasbourg Court are binding on Turkey and furthermore are the primary source for interpreting the European Convention of Human Rights, a treaty to which Turkey is party and which, according to Article 90 of the Turkish Constitution, prevails over national laws such as Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code on insulting the President, in the event of conflict. ECtHR jurisprudence clearly indicates such a conflict between Article 299 and the Convention. But are Turkish courts aware of this?

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Der NSU vor dem EGMR: Letzte Hoffnung auf Aufklärung?

Nach dem Urteil im NSU-Prozess haben Nebenkläger*innen und ihre Anwält*innen angekündigt, keinen Schlussstrich ziehen zu wollen. Man sei bereit, bis zum Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (EGMR) zu gehen. Bis dahin ist es noch ein weiter Weg, der zunächst über den BGH und das BVerfG führt. Trotzdem lohnt die Überlegung, wie der EGMR zur Aufklärung des NSU-Komplexes beitragen kann.

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The ECtHR and Post-coup Turkey: Losing Ground or Losing Credibility?

Since Turkey’s coup attempt in July 2016, human rights violations have been abundant. With a broken Turkish justice system, the ECtHR has received over 33,000 applications from the country, with 30 to 40 more incoming each week. Shockingly, more than 90% of these applications have been dismissed. This is often on dubious grounds, causing experts and Turkish citizens alike to condemn its response.

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Wurde Ali B. rechtswidrig aus dem Irak nach Deutschland geholt?

Nun, wo die „Heldenpolizisten“ in die Heimat zurückgekehrt sind, geht das Drama um den gewaltsamen Tod der 14-jährigen Susanna in den dritten Akt. Was war das eigentlich rechtlich, das da am vergangenen Samstag in Erbil geschah und letztlich zur Festnahme des Tatverdächtigen Ali B. durch die Bundespolizei führte? Eine „Auslieferung“? Eine „Abschiebung“? Oder doch ein „Rechtsverstoß“ oder „Freiheitsberaubung“?

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Lithuania and Romania Complicit for Hosting CIA “Black Sites”

On 31 May 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) confirmed in two simultaneously published judgments, Abu Zubaydah v. Lithuania and Al Nashiri v. Romania, that Lithuania and Romania were involved in the running of secret detention facilities of the CIA, so-called “black sites”, on their territories as well as their “complicity” in the execution of CIA’s secret extraordinary rendition programme for suspected terrorists.

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Caviar, Corruption and Compliance – New Challenges for the Council of Europe

Compliance with judicial decisions often poses challenges, all the more so when international courts such as the European Court of Human Rights are involved. How to react to a failure to abide by judgments of the ECHR has been a question for the Council of Europe for some time. But the suspicious background of a currently unfolding episode involving Azerbaijan may offer an unusually clear justification for a strong reaction even to a single case of non-compliance.

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Something Rotten in the State of Denmark?

The final version of the Copenhagen Declaration has turned out to be a lot less dramatic than the original draft led many observers to believe. This leaves several questions of why. Why did Denmark, traditionally a frontrunner country, create a draft declaration so regressive it gave rise to harsh critiques from the Council of Europe Assembly, from academia and from civil society? Why was the Danish Minister of Justice glossing over the content of the declaration? Why has the Danish Institute of Human Rights been so relatively quiet throughout the whole debacle?

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The Copenhagen Declaration: Are the Member States about to Pull the Teeth of the ECHR?

On Thursday, the member states of the European Convention of Human Rights will meet in Copenhagen to adopt a joint declaration on the future of the human rights system in Europe. The Draft of the Copenhagen Declaration, presented on 5 February 2018 and sponsored by the current Danish Presidency of the Council of Europe, has met with considerable alarm on the part of human rights activists and academics. It makes unclear, ambiguous or inaccurate statements that could represent a serious crisis of the system if not redefined in the adoption of the final Declaration.

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