I thought that the readers of this blog might be interested in the extracts that follow from the Daily Mail, 20 years ago yesterday (28 Sep 1995). The newspaper was reporting on the famous, and indeed controversial McCann v UK (‘Gibraltar shootings’ case). If I recall correctly, The Sun’s headline was ‘The Euro-Clown Court’. (See also The Independent’s reporting here, this BBC site for historical interest, and click on the picture for the 1988 ITV documentary ‘Death on the Rock’ [which concerns the shootings, not the Strasbourg case]).
In McCann the Court, by 10 votes to 9, Continue reading
An interview (conducted by Graham Butler: University of Copenhagen) with former (‘Icelandic’*, Strasbourg) Judge David Thór Björgvinsson has just been published in Utrecht Journal of International and European Law. It is available here (thanks to Jörg Polakiewicz for ‘tweeting’ this).
The former Judge (now Professor) Thór Björgvinsson was a Strasbourg Judge over the years 2004-2013. Much of his interview concerns the Opinion 2/13 from the Court of Justice of the European Union on the Union’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights. What is said there is fascinating, whilst some questions and answers at the end of the interview may be of more direct interest to readers of this blog given the critique offered of the Court as an institution that is, he maintains, less assertive than it has been in the past, due to the pressure exerted upon it by States (above all the UK),
Former Judge Thór Björgvinsson makes some interesting comments about the influence of some of the most senior members of the Court Registry on Strasbourg judicial decision-making Continue reading
Against the backdrop of sweeping claims made by some about the nature of the Strasbourg judiciary, the website ‘Full Fact’ (details of which: here) has published a short document on the background and status of the Strasbourg bench, as of July 2015.
It makes some interesting reading, rebutting many of the ‘tabloid like’ claims that Strasbourg Judges are unqualified and inappropriate for judicial office. There are also some very useful links embedded within the piece.
Further details on ‘electing Strasbourg judges’ may be found on this website (here), as well as, of course, the Court’s website and that of the Council of Europe.
I’d highly recommend this blogpost on EJIL-Talk! (Living Instruments, Judicial Impotence, and the Trajectories of Gay Rights in Europe and in the United States) by Dr Marko Milanovic. Marko compares the role of the Strasbourg and US Supreme Courts against the backdrop of jurisprudence on homosexual rights.
For what is it worth, my comments on Marko’s post follow below Continue reading
Dr Mark Elliott (University of Cambridge) has just published an excellent blog post on his site ‘Public Law For Everyone‘. The link is below.
Michael Gove, the Justice Committee and the Human Rights Act.
This post reports on two recent Parliamentary debates concerning human rights law reform (the Westminster Hall debate on the ‘Future of the Human Rights Act’ (30 June 2015, column 406WH), and the House of Lords’ debate on ‘Human Rights and Civil Liberties’ (2 July 2015, column 2177)).
In what follows, firstly, I briefly examine the background to the recent debates. Next I address the debates themselves, looking first at the Westminster Hall debate, and then the House of Lords. Then I examine the responses provided by the Ministers in each House. At this stage my primary aim is to inform (although I feel I could add a great deal by way of criticism, especially in respect of the ministers’ responses, I will not do so here).
Background to the debates (1): the Conservatives’ pre-election position
Readers of this blog will be familiar with the background to the government’s plans for human rights reform (see here, including the suggested links), whilst, of course, the general debate on this goes back a long way. With respect to the government’s position, however, and very briefly, Continue reading