Fundamental Rights as Bycatch – Russia’s Anti-Fake News Legislation

On 18 March, following approval by President Putin, Russia’s controversial anti-fake news legislation entered into force. While Russia is not the only state to address the issues of hate speech or fake news with legislative means, its new legislation raises serious constitutional concerns, particularly due to its imprecise and overly broad scope of application.

Continue Reading →

The ECtHR as a drowning ‘Island of Hope’?’ Its impending reversal of the interpretation of collective expulsion is a warning signal

The outcome of the case ND and NT v. Spain currently pending before the Grand Chamber may determine the future course of the Court in other migration policy cases. It will show whether the ECtHR still deserves its title as an ‘island of hope in stormy times’ or whether this island is drowning under the pressure of some of its Member States.

Continue Reading →

The Dutch Climate Case Judgment: Human Rights Potential and Constitutional Unease

The Dutch climate case has reached a new high. Last week, The Hague Court of Appeal upheld the 2015 verdict which ordered the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020. The Court did so on the ground that the current actions of the Dutch government to combat climate change are insufficient in the light of the state’s human rights obligations. Has the Court gone too far?

Continue Reading →

The Constitutional Referendum in Turkey: A far Stretch from Right to Free Elections to Referenda?

The Constitutional referendum in Turkey left many voters uncertain about the actual outcome: Unstamped ballots were registered as valid and an appeal against that procedure did not show any satisfying results. Will an appeal in front of the ECtHR show more favourable results?

Continue Reading →

Stopping forced sterilisation is not enough – the limitations of the recent ECHR judgement on trans rights

The recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in A.P., Garçon and Nicot v. France constitutes an important decision for trans rights in many ways. The ECtHR determined that France’s requirement of sterilisation, applying to persons wishing to legally change their names and gender on their birth certificate to reflect their gender identity, is a violation of the right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Continue Reading →

The Hungarian Constitutional Court’s case with the ECHR: an ambivalent relationship

Hungary was the first country in the post-Soviet bloc that joined the Council of Europe and ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and this remains a matter of national pride. While the Convention is perceived as a yardstick in human rights protection that may not be circumvented, still lively debate surrounds the authority of the case-law of European Court of Human Rights. The recent constitutional reform has left the status of the Convention largely untouched. The Convention still enjoys a supra-legislative rank: it is subordinated to the Fundamental Law but is superior to all other pieces of legislation.

Continue Reading →

Rule of law in Greece buckles under institutionalised ill-treatment by law enforcement agents

Rampant police violence, institutionalized racism and a "culture of impunity": The Council of Europe Anti-Torture Committee’s latest report on Greece reveals once again a shocking lack of respect for human rights and the rule of law in the Greek law enforcement system.

Continue Reading →

Three legal requirements for the EU-Turkey deal: An interview with JAMES HATHAWAY

"The right to decide where to seek recognition of refugee status does not entail the right to choose where international refugee protection is to be enjoyed": One of the foremost experts in international refugee law, James C. Hathaway (Michigan), gives some preliminary indications on the legality of the emerging EU-Turkey agreement on Syrian refugee resettlement.

Continue Reading →