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.
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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.
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