Stephanos Stavros

Stephanos Stavros is a human-rights lawyer who has worked for the ECtHR and other Strasbourg-based monitoring mechanisms. The views expressed are, of course, personal.

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Y v. Poland: Trans Rights and Strasbourg’s Search for a Proper Discrimination Theory

Y v. Poland: Trans Rights and Strasbourg’s Search for a Proper Discrimination Theory

Image Description: Seven small Trans rights flags erected on grass. There are flowers growing in the background. On 17.2.22 the ECtHR passed judgment in another trans-rights case, finding that the applicant’s (Y’s) inability to ...
Sanchez and ZB v France: How Many More Restrictions to Freedom of Expression Should Strasbourg Accept?

Sanchez and ZB v France: How Many More Restrictions to Freedom of Expression Should Strasbourg Accept?

Image Description: On a brick wall, the phrase 'Free Speech' is being written by a person, using spray paint. Below this phrase, the words '*Conditions apply' has been written. On 17.1.22, the ECtHR accepted that Sanchez – one of ...
Adbi Ibrahim v Norway: What It Takes to Make People Feel Integrated “Here in Europe” Without Necessarily “Becoming Like Them Norwegian Christians”

Adbi Ibrahim v Norway: What It Takes to Make People Feel Integrated “Here in Europe” Without Necessarily “Becoming Like Them Norwegian Christians”

Image Description: A Norwegian flag flying in the sky. On December 10th, the ECtHR’s GC (Grand Chamber) issued its last 2021 judgment in Adbi Ibrahim, a truly sad case. The applicant, a Muslim Somali refugee, arrived in Norway as a ...
The Polish Challenge to the ECtHR’s Authority: Can the CoE Human-Rights System Respond Convincingly to It?

The Polish Challenge to the ECtHR’s Authority: Can the CoE Human-Rights System Respond Convincingly to It?

That the 24.11.21 judgment of the Polish Constitutional Court (CC) represents a serious challenge to the ECtHR’s authority does not seem to be open to question. The CoE SG has recognised this herself by addressing, on 7.12.21, an ...
Defending legality in judicial appointments:  The European Court of Human Rights and the Polish constitutional crisis [Part 2]

Defending legality in judicial appointments: The European Court of Human Rights and the Polish constitutional crisis [Part 2]

This is what happened in Poland. The Supreme Court made a preliminary reference about the appointment of the members of its Disciplinary Chamber (DC). The CJEU considered that there were issues of independence. Then the Supreme Court ...
Defending legality in judicial appointments:  The European Court of Human Rights and the Polish constitutional crisis [Part1]

Defending legality in judicial appointments: The European Court of Human Rights and the Polish constitutional crisis [Part1]

That the Polish constitutional crisis would have had serious human-rights implications was clear from the start. It would have been naïve to assume that the CoE would not have had to react, somehow, to the momentous changes taking ...
MA v Denmark and Fedotova and Others v Russia: Judicial Activism in Protecting the Right to Family Life?

MA v Denmark and Fedotova and Others v Russia: Judicial Activism in Protecting the Right to Family Life?

On 9.7.21, the GC of the ECtHR found a violation of Article 8 ECHR in the case of a Syrian national enjoying temporary protection in Denmark, M.A., who could only be reunited with his family there after the expiry of a three-year ...
Kurt v Austria: ECHR Positive Obligations Without a Coercive Sting?

Kurt v Austria: ECHR Positive Obligations Without a Coercive Sting?

A terrible family drama reopens the debate about the coercive sting of ECHR positive obligations Measures to prevent crime have always been considered part of the positive obligations under Article 2 ECHR (right to life). Their ...
The Mass-Surveillance Cases We Might Not Want Our Courts to Hear: Big Brother Watch and Centrum för Rättvisa

The Mass-Surveillance Cases We Might Not Want Our Courts to Hear: Big Brother Watch and Centrum för Rättvisa

The ECtHR’s 25.5.21 judgments in the two “bulk interception of communications and intelligence sharing” cases, Big Brother Watch and Others v. the UK and Centrum för Rättvisa v. Sweden, have received their fair share of attention, ...
Respecting Subsidiarity While Guaranteeing the Right to a Tribunal Established in Accordance with National Law: From Astradsson to Xero Flor

Respecting Subsidiarity While Guaranteeing the Right to a Tribunal Established in Accordance with National Law: From Astradsson to Xero Flor

International bodies like the ECtHR should not easily substitute their assessment for that of national judges who have analysed a human-rights issue ‘properly’. So much is dictated by subsidiarity; and it would be paradoxical if this ...
Association Accept and Others v. Romania: The European Court of Human Rights Takes a Fresh Look at Homophobic Speech and Biased Criminal-Law Enforcement

Association Accept and Others v. Romania: The European Court of Human Rights Takes a Fresh Look at Homophobic Speech and Biased Criminal-Law Enforcement

That hate-speech victims (who have sued unsuccessfully in a CoE member state) should obtain redress in Strasbourg is hardly surprising nowadays and ought not to constitute ‘news’. Yet their cases continue to attract interest for ...
A Gay Kiss on the Internet: Can Strasbourg Litigation Help Win the War Against Homophobia?

A Gay Kiss on the Internet: Can Strasbourg Litigation Help Win the War Against Homophobia?

On 14 January 2019, the European Court of Human Rights found a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in Beizaras and Levickas v Lithuania, as a result of the Lithuanian authorities’ failure to prosecute ...