The European Human Rights Court once again pushes for a “Right to a Child”

pic-7The notoriously spun-out-of-control European Human Rights Court has yet again issued an astonishing judgment in which it pushes forward, in incremental steps, towards the creation of a “right to a child”.

In the case of A.H. and others v. Russia the Court had to deal with the claims of a group of American applicants whose procedures to adopt children in Russia had come to an abrupt end when the Russian Federation – reacting to the fact that the US now allow same-sex couples to adopt children – suddenly adopted a new law that barred Americans from adopting Russian children. The Court concluded that this abrupt end of the adoption proceedings, which had already reached a fairly advanced stage, constituted a breach of Art. 14 in conjunction with Art. 8 of the European Human Rights Convention, i.e. a “discrimination with regard to the right to respect of the private and family lives” of the applicants.

This finding implies that there is a “Right to Adopt a Child” enshrined somewhere in the Convention, which is of course wrong. Continue reading

Pope & Patriarch, a postscript

ArticleImages_41483_sheva2Some days ago, we posted a comment on the first-time ever meeting between the Pope and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch.

Our view on the joint document that was signed during the meeting was, and still is, very positive regarding what is said on marriage and the family. Upon a more careful second reading, however, we feel we must express a more critical view with what the document says about the situation in Ukraine. Continue reading

The ECtHR itself is to blame for its loss of authority…

224657The ECtHR judgments that we are criticizing on this blog are certainly not the same that the Russian or, respectively, the UK Government are refusing to accept. However, there is a common theme: through a long series of ill-founded rulings, which obviously were in line neither with the wording of the Human Rights Convention, nor with any soundly argued moral principle, the Strasbourg Court has undermined itself. Continue reading

Disrespect for ECtHR rulings: if Russia can do it, so can the UK

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has today promulgated a new law that secures the supremacy of the Russian Constitution over Decisions issued by the European Court of Human Rights. In case of conflict, the first will prevail over the latter.

The Western press and public opinion are highly critical of this new measure, noting (probably not without reason) that it was motivated by ECtHR rulings on Yukos and on the freedom of speech of certain dissidents –  cases in which the Russian government’s action indeed stood at odds with widely recognized international human rights standards. (In the context of the subject matter of this blog, we note that the ECtHR’s increasingly aberrant opinions on issues such as surrogacy, transgender and sodomy, abortion, etc. did not seem to play a role here.)

Mere coincidence? Just on the same day where this new law was enacted in Russia, the renowned European Journal of International Law has a blog post in which it bemoans the apparent inertia of the UK in giving effect to the ECtHR’s controversial decision on the right of criminal convicts to participate in elections, Hirst v. UK.

Clearly, with the prestige of the Court rapidly withering away, States feel less and less obliged to implement its rulings…

Russia can undermine the Human Rights Court, because the Court has undermined itself

1389943469_01-600x337Russia has adopted a law allowing its Constitutional Court to overrule and declare inapplicable judgements from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The Russian constitution takes precedence under the new Duma law.

The measure aims to “protect the interests of Russia” in the face of decisions by international bodies responsible for ruling on human rights, according to Tass news agency. Continue reading