A “FORMALISTIC” APPROACH TO JURISDICTION IN THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS’ DECISION ON HUMANITARIAN VISAS: WAS ANOTHER INTERPRETATION POSSIBLE?
A long awaited decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), one that will be discussed for long (see already here, here and here), has not disappointed all the European governments whose efforts are aimed to strengthen border controls on migrants, including asylum claimants. With the decision in the case of M.N. and Others v. Belgium (no. 3599/18), the ECtHR has adopted a self-restraint approach that creates an additional obstacle for those asylum claimants who would rely on international human rights law obligations as the only possible way of avoiding dangerous, sometimes deadly, journeys in order to submit an asylum application in Europe. The ECtHR concluded that States Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) do not have any obligation to issue humanitarian visas because the ECHR does not apply in the context of proceedings initiated by individuals through diplomatic representations of a State Party, with which such individuals have no connecting ties like nationality or which does not exercise any sort of physical control (more generally on Article 1 ECHR, see Besson and Milanovic). Whereas some readers may find it unsurprising, in light of recent case law (e.g. Grand Chamber, N.D. and N.T. v. Spain, nos. 8675/15 and 8697/15; and Ilias and Ahmed v. Hungary, no. 47287/15) as well as the CJEU’s findings on the same matter from a EU law perspective (X and X v. Belgium, C-638/16 PPU), other readers may qualify the ECtHR’s approach based on the lack of jurisdiction as ‘formalist’ or ‘ineffective’. This is particularly the case when the reasoning adopted by the ECtHR is compared with recent developments occurred not only within its case law but also with positions adopted by universal human rights bodies attempting to expand the applicability of human rights treaties, including via a ‘non-formalistic’ approach (Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 12 December 2019, no. CERD/C/100/5, para. 3.44).
Some additional thoughts about the burkini: international human rights law and the struggle for gender equality
Alice Ollino, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca In her post on the burkini and the crisis of (international) law, Bérénice Schramm warned us against the limits of mainstream legal narratives that accommodate discrimination against women, and suggested revisiting the foundations of international law in order to attain full equality. The
The recent rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court on same-sex marriage (both dated 26 June 2013: U.S. v. Windsor, 2013 U.S. LEXIS 4921 and Hollingsworth v. Perry, 2013 U.S. LEXIS 4919) triggered the question of whether States should recognize the right to marry a person of the same sex. In