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The COVID-19 Pandemic and the European Court of Human Rights

Kirchner, Stefan

Artikkelit 7.12.2020, Lyhyempi kirjoitus


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to lead to significant human rights challenges, from the duty of States to take positive action to safeguard the right to health to temporary restrictions on rights such as the freedom of assembly, which are deemed necessary to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Usually, emerging issues only reach the European Court of Human Rights after some time because, with the exception of applications for interim relief, the European Convention on Human Rights requires applicants to have gone through the entire national court system and to exhaust all appeals possibilities, before submitting an application to the European Court of Human Rights. In a few cases, however, the European Court of Human Rights already has to deal with the effects of the pandemic, including its effects on national judicial systems. Most of these cases are currently pending at the Court in Strasbourg, but the pandemic has been taken note of in the context of enforcement actions. In this text, the readers will be introduced to the cases in which the pandemic has already become relevant in the context of the European Convention on Human Rights and will be alerted to those cases which are currently still pending but which might be of greater significance in the future.

  • Edilex-sarja 2020/44

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