Episode 24: Vainly knocking on the shut doors of Strasbourg

When a door is firmly shut, getting it to open can be very difficult. This image is useful to understand the effect of a finding by the European Court of Human Rights that a provision of the European Convention on Human Rights is either not applicable or not violated.

 

(If you have problems with the embedded player use this link to listen).

Strasbourg negative rulings are often categorical. They tend to get repeated from one case to the next, in a fairly automatic manner. They result in applicants being summarily rejected when they come knocking on the Strasbourg doors.

A violation verdict is less categorical. It effects an opening – but how wide this opening is typically needs to be tested over time.

Maaouia is an example of shut doors that was examined in the last episode. In this episode, I discuss other examples: Abdulaziz, Cabales and Balkandali (no right to family reunion), N. v. UK (return to an early death), and Saadi v. UK (immigration detention for administrative convenience).

To download a copy of this podcast right-click this link and choose ‘Download Linked File’ or ‘Save Link As…’.

Please note that the podcast will take a short break over the summer and return for the final six episodes in September.

Episode 23: When the Strasbourg doors are shut (Maaouia)

Lawyers like to discuss cases that offer openings and avenues of redress, but one cannot assess the benefits of the Strasbourg system without also considering its failures. This episode focuses on Maaouia v. France.

 

(If you have problems with the embedded player use this link to listen).

Maaouia established that immigration decisions were not subject to Article 6 ECHR, the provision of the Convention that lays down fair trial guarantees.

In concrete terms, this means that decisions related to e.g. asylum, expulsion, family reunion and residence permits can be taken by administrative authorities without the persons affected having a right, under the Convention, to have their claims heard by an independent judge.

This Grand Chamber decision was adopted in 2000, and it still holds to this day. Its effect was to shut the Strasbourg doors categorically in this respect, with tremendously negative implications for migrants’ rights.

To download a copy of this podcast right-click this link and choose ‘Download Linked File’ or ‘Save Link As…’.