FRA Report on the right to political participation for persons with disabilities

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has today published a new report on “the right to political participation for persons with disabilities: human rights indicators”. Here is the abstract :

The human rights indicators presented in the report show that legal and administrative barriers, inaccessible processes and information, and a lack of awareness about political rights can deny persons with disabilities the opportunity to participate in the political lives of their communities. The research also reveals the absence of reliable and comparable data about persons with disabilities’ experiences of taking part in elections in the EU. Addressing these challenges as soon as possible is essential for increasing the legitimacy of public institutions and creating more equitable and inclusive societies in which all members can participate fully.

Roundtable discussion on “25 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Self-determination”

The Graduate School of Government and European Studies, Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia, will be on 30 May 2014 holding a roundtable discussion on “25 Years after the Fall  of the Berlin Wall: Self-determination and Human Rights Protection in Europe”. Speakers include inter alia : Luzius Wildhaber, former President of the European Court of Human Rights, Paul Mahoney, judge of the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of United Kingdom, and Peter Jambrek, former judge of the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Slovenia. Welcome !

Prohibition of expulsion to a risk of ill-treatment – Nizamov et al v. Russia

The European Court of Human Rights held on 7 May 2014 in the case of Nizamov and Others v. Russia (nos. 22636/13, 24034/13, 24334/13 and 24528/13) that Russia violated article 3 of the ECHR as a real risk exists that the applicants would be subjected to ill-treatment on the basis of their membership in the Islamic religious group if they were to be expelled to Uzbekistan. As in the previous cases, the concern was how one can prove that in fact applicants will be ill-treated if returned to Uzbekistan. However, the application of any standard of proof to the probability of future events will always be subject to a degree of speculation. What is more, the Court argued that mere formal commitment to international human rights treaties does not guarantee that they protection will be heeded in practice. More specifically, it noted that :

substantial grounds have been shown for believing that there is a real risk that the applicants would be subjected to treatment contrary to Article 3 of the Convention if they were to be expelled to Uzbekistan. The summary and unspecific reasoning adduced by the domestic authorities and the Government before the Court did not dispel the alleged risk of ill‑treatment. Nor can that risk be excluded on the basis of other material available to the Court. In this connection, the Court notes that the existence of domestic laws and the ratification of international treaties guaranteeing respect for fundamental rights, relied on by the Government in their arguments, are not in themselves sufficient to ensure adequate protection against the risk of ill-treatment where, as in the present case, reliable sources have reported practices resorted to or tolerated by the authorities which are manifestly contrary to the principles of the Convention…

What is noticeable and commendable, that Russia, often described as a state with the poor record of compliance with the ECtHR’s judgments,  heeded interim order of the European court from April 2013 asking not to expel the applicants to Uzbekistan until the final decision.

Central and Eastern European Judges under the EU Influence

20140512_095631Conference on Central and Eastern European Judges under the EU Influence takes place today and tomorrow at the European University Institute. Has the state of mind of judiciaries in the Central and Eastern European states changed ten years after joining the EU ?

Call for Papers – 6th Annual Conference on Legal Theory, Philosophy and Argumentation

6th Annual Conference on Legal Theory, Philosophy and Argumentation on »Legal and Philosophical Challenges of Transnational Law«, Bled, Slovenia, 21. – 22. November 2014

The conference is organized by the Graduate School of Government and European Studies in co-operation with the European Faculty of Law and with the generous support of the Slovenian Research Agency.The overall theme of this year’s conference is “Legal and Philosophical Challenges of Transnational Law«, which is to be analyzed through a variety of substantive andmethodological lenses, including: legal theory, legal argumentation, legal philosophy and political philosophy, international law, human rights and ethics.

The conference will thus consist of four panels, dedicated to legal theory and legal philosophy; legal argumentation; international law and ethics. A special panel will be reserved for PhD researchers and researchers at an early stage of their career.The organizers would like to invite interested contributors to send short abstracts (up to 250 words) falling within the above theme, addressing in particular, but not exclusively, the following questions:

– What is transnational law?

– Who are its actors and how is their legal accountability ensured?

– How does transnational law relate to traditional state law?

– How does transnational law impact on the canonical standards of legal argumentation?

– What are the specific ethical challenges of transnational law and how should they beaddressed?

The abstracts should be sent to matej.avbelj@fds.si by August 31, 2014. The selected contributors will be notified by September 15, 2014. The organizers will cover up to two nights of accommodation in the Hotel Jelovica, Bled, where the conference is going to take place.

Organizing Committee:

Matej Avbelj, Graduate School of Government and European Studies

Jernej Letnar Černič, Graduate School of Government and European Studies

Vojko Strahovnik, European Faculty of Law

Marko Novak, School of Advanced Social Studies

Ruiz Vieytez on the effectiveness of the European system of national minorities protection

20140505_182509Prof. dr. Eduardo J. Ruiz Vieytez of University of Deusto delivered yesterday at the Jean Monnet Academic Forum at the Graduate School of Government and European Studies in Kranj a speech that focused on the effectiveness of the European system of national minorities protection. In doing so he also discussed recent claims for greater autonomy and independence in the Basque country and Catalonia.