Saturday, 24 September 2016

"Going to Strasbourg" - 30% discount

Oxford University Press are offering a 30% discount on my new book, Going to Strasbourg: An Oral History of Sexual Orientation Discrimination and the European Convention on Human Rights, which reduces the price from £50 to £35. 

The book can be ordered here and purchasers will need to quote the promotional code ALAUTHC4 (which is valid until 31st March 2017) to obtain the discount. 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

E.S. v Spain - communicated case concerning deportation of gay Senegalese national

The European Court of Human Rights has communicated the case of E.S. v Spain. The case concerns the deportation of a gay Senegalese national from Spain to his country of origin and raises the question of whether, in light of his sexual orientation, this would would expose him to a real risk of being subjected to treatment contrary to Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Same-sex sexual activity is a criminal offence in Senegal. The Court recently rejected an application in a similar facts case concerning Senegal in A.N. v France.

The Court has never held that the deportation of a gay person to a country of origin, outside the Council of Europe, that criminalises same-sex sexual activity amounts to a violation of any aspect of the Convention. For a summary of recent jurisprudence in this area, see here.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

"Going to Strasbourg" published this week

I have just received some advance copies of my new book, Going to Strasbourg, which is published this Thursday by Oxford University Press

The book, which contains oral history accounts by applicants to Strasbourg who challenged sexual orientation discrimination in the UK, is published just as the UK Conservative government begins another round of criticism of human rights law. 

The UK government looks set to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and replace it with legislation that will almost certainly remove or weaken the duty of UK domestic courts to 'take into account' the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. 

If that was not bad enough, there remains the lingering concern that the UK might leave the ECHR system. The Prime Minister, Theresa May, is an outspoken opponent of the ECHR and has said that it "can bind the hands of parliament, adds nothing to our prosperity, [and] makes us less secure by preventing the deportation of dangerous foreign nationals". 

Going to Strasbourg tells a different story, showing how the ECHR system has been a vital means by which people in the UK have challenged discrimination based on sexual orientation. It demonstrates very clearly that the tolerance and equality that characterises the UK today is the result, in large part, of the UK's membership of the ECHR.

On the same day that my book is published, OUP also publish Professor Conor Gearty's new book, On Fantasy Island, which looks set to provide further antidote to the anti-human rights fever that is spreading across the UK.

The Going to Strasbourg book launch is on Friday October 21 at Conway Hall and everyone is welcome.

Friday, 2 September 2016

New article on "gay" family life and the ECHR

Sabrina Ragone and Valentina Volpe have published an article in the German Law Journal titled "An Emerging Right to a 'Gay' Family Life? The Case Oliari v. Italy in a Comparative Perspective". 

Here is the abstract: 
This Article analyses, through the lens of comparative law, the Oliari and others v. Italy judgment,which was issued by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in July 2015. The Oliari case is important for being the first judgment in which the ECtHR established the granting of legal "recognition and protection" to same-sex couples as a positive obligation for the Member States of the Council of Europe on the basis of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In order to understand the role of judicial bodies in the progressive protection of homosexual rights, thisArticle combines an analysis of European case law with the national perspective. As it concerns the supranational facet, the authors illustrate Oliari's reasoning and situate the case in the jurisprudence of the ECtHR. Elements of both continuity and innovation emerge from the analysis, as well as a relevant dimension of judicial dialogue supporting the incremental recognition of gay rights inEurope. As it concerns the national facet, this specific case was initially dealt with at the domestic level and was the object of judgment 138/2010 by the Italian Constitutional Court. The judgment is critically put into perspective through the examination of the jurisprudence of other EuropeanConstitutional Courts (France, Portugal and Spain) that were called on to decide similar cases in the same period. Therefore, the Article offers a comparative analysis of the Oliari judgment clarifying its relevance and speculating on the potential value of this case for the future recognition of the right to a "gay" family life in Europe.
The article can be downloaded here: