Recommended reading. ‘Handicapping Rules: The Overly Restrictive Application of Admissibility Criteria by the European Court of Human Rights to Complaints Concerning Disabled People’

‘Handicapping Rules: The Overly Restrictive Application of Admissibility Criteria by the European Court of Human Rights to Complaints Concerning Disabled People’
By Constantin Cojocariu

Abstract
This article analyses the way in which admissibility rules related to standing and victim status can in certain circumstances exclude persons with disabilities held in mental health institutionsfrom the protection of the European Convention on Human Rights by denying them accessto proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights. These rules compare unfavourably to rules employed by other international human rights bodies. The European Court of Human Rights has, to some extent,recognised the difficulties facing persons with disabilitiesin accessing justice, both in itssubstantive interpretation of the Convention, and in its use of proceduralrules. Similar elasticity should be demonstrated in relation to rules on standing and victim status, including by recognising standing to sue on behalf of disabled victims, in certain circumstances, to public interest groups, even in the absence of specific authorisation. The European Court of Human Rights’ case-law involving child victims provides a meaningful precedent for such an approach. Another rationale that finds jurisprudential support in order to overcome procedural obstacles
is to rely on “the interest of human rights” in order to proceed to a determination on the merits. To the extent that procedural rules at the national level are more favourable to claimants, that should weigh heavily in the applicants’ favour in the adjudication on admissibility in Strasbourg.

 

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