Chamber News


Roof f the Human Rights building
20/06/24

In the case of Z v. the Czech Republic the Court held that there had been a violation of the right to prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment and of the right to respect for private life.

In this case, the applicant complained that she had been subjected to non-consensual sexual acts by a priest. More specifically, she complained of the authorities’ restrictive interpretation of the constituent elements of the offences of rape and sexual abuse under Criminal Code then in force, of the fact that this legal framework had not been sufficient to ensure effective punishment for the sexual offences allegedly perpetrated against her and of the lack of an effective investigation.

The Court found that the authorities’ approach had been incapable of affording the applicant adequate protection and considered that the Czech State had failed to fulfil its positive obligations, which had required the effective application of a criminal-law system capable of punishing the non-consensual sexual relations alleged by the applicant.

Human Rights building
13/06/24

In the case of Daniel Karsai v. Hungary the Court held that there had been no violation of the right to respect for private and family life and no violation of the right to prohibition of discrimination.

The case concerned the question of the asserted right to self-determined death of the applicant, who is a Hungarian national and has advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - a type of motor neurone disease with no known cure. He would like to be able to decide when and how to die before his illness reaches a stage that he finds intolerable. He would need assistance, but anyone assisting him would risk prosecution, even if he died in a country which allowed physician-assisted dying. He complained of not being able to end his life with the help of others and of discrimination compared to terminally ill patients on life-sustaining treatment who are able to ask for their treatment to be withdrawn.

The Court observed that there were potentially broad social implications and risks of error and abuse involved in the provision of physician-assisted dying. Despite a growing trend towards its legalisation, the majority of the member States of the Council of Europe continue to prohibit both medically assisted suicide and euthanasia. The State thus had wide discretion in this respect, and the Court found that the Hungarian authorities had not failed to strike a fair balance between the competing interests at stake and had not overstepped that discretion.

As regards the alleged discrimination, the Court found that the refusal or withdrawal of treatment in end-of-life situations was intrinsically linked to the right to free and informed consent, rather than to a right to be helped to die, and was widely recognised and endorsed by the medical profession, and also laid down in the Council of Europe’s Oviedo Convention. Furthermore, refusal or withdrawal of life-support was allowed by the majority of the member States. The Court therefore considered that the alleged difference in treatment of the two categories was objectively and reasonably justified.

Human Rights building
11/06/24

In the case of Kokëdhima v. Albania the Court held that there had been no violation of the right to free elections.

The case concerned the decision to remove the applicant from office as a Member of Parliament because of a conflict of interest with his ownership of a company that received income from public resources.

The Constitutional Court had taken particular issue with the fact that the applicant had only sold the shares in his company more than six months after his election. The ECHR could not find anything arbitrary or manifestly unreasonable in that approach. Moreover, the applicant had to have known about the applicable laws and practice in his case and therefore could have foreseen that continuing to benefit from income generated from contracts with public authorities in his new role as an MP would amount to a conflict in interest.

Human Rights building in sunset
06/06/24

In the case of Bersheda and Rybolovlev v. Monaco the Court held that there had been a violation of the right to respect for private life concerning the first applicant.

The case concerned the conduct of a judicial investigation directed by a French judge seconded to the Monegasque courts. The Court took the view that the investigations undertaken by the investigating judge involving a lawyer’s mobile phone and the massive, indiscriminate recovery of personal data – including those that had previously been erased by the applicant – had exceeded that judge’s remit, which had been confined to accusations of invasion of privacy, and had not been accompanied by safeguards to ensure due respect for the applicant’s status and professional privilege as a lawyer.

The Court has declared the application inadmissible concerning the second applicant.

Big drum of the Human Rights building
04/06/24

In the case Bosev v. Bulgaria the Court held that there had been a violation of the right to a fair trial and a violation of the right to the freedom of expression.

The case concerned the conviction of a journalist for defamation of a senior Government official and, more specifically, doubts as to the impartiality of one of the judges having ruled on the charges laid against him on appeal.

The Court held that the appellate court had not constituted an “impartial tribunal” and that the manner in which the sanction had been imposed on the applicant in the present case had fallen short of securing one of the essential guarantees of a fair trial. It further held that the restriction on the applicant’s right to freedom of expression had not been accompanied by effective and adequate safeguards against arbitrariness.

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Forthcoming Judgments & Decisions


Grand Chamber News


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14/06/24

On 24 June 2024 a panel of 5 judges will examine nine Grand Chamber referral requests.

Delivery of the Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Nealon and Hallam v. the United Kingdom
11/06/24

In the case of Nealon and Hallam v. the United Kingdom the Court held that there had been no violation of the right to presumption of innocence.

The case concerned the statutory scheme for compensation for wrongful conviction in the Criminal Justice Act 1988 as amended by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Hearings


Grand Chamber hearing in the inter-State case of Ukraine and the Netherlands v. the Russian Federation
12/06/24

The Court held a Grand Chamber hearing in the case of Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia.

This Inter-State case covers complaints concerning the Russian military operations in Ukraine since 24 February 2022 and the conflict in eastern Ukraine involving pro-Russian separatists which began in 2014, including the downing of Flight MH17.

Decisions


Human Rights building
20/06/24

The Court declared the applications in the case of Morabito and Others v. Italy inadmissible.

The case concerned doctors who had attended specialisation courses between 1982 and 1991; they complained of the Italian authorities’ delayed transposition of an EU Directive into national law, and alleged, more specifically, that they had not received the “appropriate remuneration” that the member States of the European Union had been required to pay under the Directive.

The Court found that the contested difference in economic treatment had been a direct consequence of the difference in the number of hours worked per year by the applicants compared to the other doctors concerned. This case follows on from the Ruggeri and Others v. Italy decision concerning doctors who attended specialisation courses after 1991.

Palais des droits de l'homme
23/05/24

The Court has declared the application in the case Amar v. France inadmissible.

The case concerned disciplinary proceedings against the applicant, who at the relevant time had been Deputy Prosecutor at the National Public Prosecutor’s Office for Financial Offences (“PNF”). In that capacity, he had worked on several cases concerning former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, including on a charge of bribing a member of the Court of Cassation. On 26 March and 21 April 2021 the Prime Minister lodged a disciplinary complaint against the applicant with the Judicial Service Commission (Conseil supérieur de la magistrature, “CSM”), alleging that he had breached his ethical obligations.

Communication of cases


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29/04/24

The Court has communicated to the Government of Türkiye another five cases covering 1,000 applications concerning convictions for membership of an armed terrorist organisation, based on the alleged use of the encrypted messaging application called ByLock.

The background to these applications, and 1,000 others notified in December 2023, was set out by the Court’s Grand Chamber case Yüksel Yalçınkaya v. Türkiye. The core issues raised by the applicants concern no punishment without law and the right to a fair trial that have already been judged in this case.

Other News


20/06/24

On 20 June 2024, President Síofra O’Leary attended a high-level session held in Strasbourg on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO). She delivered a keynote address on that occasion.

18/06/24

On 17 June 2024, President Síofra O’Leary paid an official visit to Liechtenstein, accompanied by Carlo Ranzoni, Judge elected in respect of Liechtenstein, and Dorothee von Arnim, Deputy Section Registrar.

During the visit, the delegation took part in bilateral meetings with Daniel Risch, Prime Minister of the Principality of Liechtenstein and Minister of General Government Affairs and Finance, Dominique Hasler, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Sport, and Graziella Marok-Wachter, Minister of Infrastructure and Justice.

On the same day, the delegation attended a conference at the University of Liechtenstein, in Vaduz, where President O’Leary delivered a keynote speech and took part in a panel discussion with, inter alia, Hilmar Hoch, President of the Constitutional Court of Liechtenstein, on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and the Constitutional Court.

14/06/24

On 14 June 2024 the ECHR held a half-day seminar on The articulation between the European Convention on Human Rights and European Union Law: past, present and future.

The event brought together voices from European and national judiciary, EU institutions and academia. On the occasion of the seminar the Court launched a new “ECHR/EU” page on its Knowledge-Sharing platform (ECHR-KS), a platform which provides Convention case-law analysis Article by Article, theme by theme, updated on a weekly basis. This new ECHR/EU KS page will over time include a series of factsheets, jointly produced by the Court and the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union (FRA), bringing together case-law from the ECHR and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).