Russia: States may refuse implementation of ECtHR’s ultra vires judgments, says Constitutional Court

i_1021A law court that does not respect the law will sooner or later itself lose the respect of those on whom it pretends to pass judgment. This is the lesson that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is currently learning, following a long series of controversial decisions.

Responding to an application submitted by a group of Members of the State Duma, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation has issued a binding legal opinion in which it declares that judgments of the ECtHR are to be considered binding in Russia only under the  the condition that they respect the general interpretive principles for international treaties as set out in Art. 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT). Continue reading

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Planned Parenthood: MEP asks Commission to clarify its position…

In view of a constant stream of shocking new revelations regarding Planned Parenthood’s gruesome practice of trading with body parts of aborted children MEP  Miroslav Mikolášik (EPP, Slovakia) has addressed a formal Written Question to the European Commission, asking it to clarify whether it was aware of that practice and if not, whether it will now re-consider its close co-operation with the controversial organization: Continue reading

File management at the ECtHR – a Russian NGO complains…

parfentievGiven all the other enormous flaws in the ECtHR’s recent decision in the case of Oliari and Others v. Italy, this appears to be a minor point – but it is nevertheless worth noting.

In § 6 of the Decision one reads:

“Mr Pavel Parfentev on behalf of seven Russian NGOS (Family and Demography Foundation, For Family Rights, Moscow City Parents Committee, Saint-Petersburg City Parents Committee, Parents Committee of Volgodonsk City, the regional charity “Svetlitsa” Parents’ Culture Centre, and the “Peterburgskie mnogodetki” social organisation), and three Ukrainian NGOS (the Parental Committee of Ukraine, the Orthodox Parental Committee, and the Health Nation social organisation), had also been given leave to intervene by the Vice-President of the Chamber. However, no submissions have been received by the Court.”

Mr. Parfentev, writing on behalf of all the organisations he represents, has now sent a letter to the Court in which he states that while he had indeed asked to be given leave to intervene in this case, he actually never received any communication that such leave had been granted. This was the reason why he did not address any further submission to the Court.

Definitely, the Court’s management of its files seems just as careless as its legal reasoning…

How will the European Commission react to the sale of aborted fetuses by Planned Parenthood?

Planned Parenthood, the world’s leading provider of abortion, is in deep trouble. The organization has released a series of press statements to deny allegations that it sells the body parts of aborted embryos – or at least it claims that it “does not profit in any way from tissue donation” (which seems to mean that yes, we do sell aborted embryos, but not at a profit...) – but this attempt at damage-control is immediately undermined by new video footage in which one can see a top Planned Parenthood official discussing “less crunchy” techniques to get “whole specimens” and haggling over the price of fetus tissue sales because she wants “a Lamborghini.” Continue reading

Another call for “marriage equality” – this time a reasonable one. The background of the Swiss popular initiative on marriage

While it clearly defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman (which is the only type of marriage the state can have an interest in), the rationale of the Swiss popular initiative on marriage is not so much to fend off attempts to re-define marriage, but to set an end to the absurd fiscal discrimination of married couples. Continue reading

Finland: Petition opposing gay marriage reaches 50,000 target

A petition to reverse Finland’s gender-neutral marriage law has gathered the required 50,000 signatures to see the issue debated in parliament.

The petition, created by the “Association for Real Marriage” (Aito avioliitto) on the citizens’ initiative website kansalaisaloite.fi, had garnered the necessary amount of support by 6pm on Sunday evening. Under the terms of the citizens’ initiative scheme, the petition still had 2 and a half months remaining within which to collect the requisite number of signatures.

The document calls on parliament to reverse last year’s decision to introduce a law permitting same-sex couples to “marry”. The new marriage law is due to come into force in March 2017.