Ensuring Access to Rights for Roma and Travellers – The Role of the European Court of Human Rights
The Council of Europe published a Handbook for Lawyers Defending Roma and Travellers today. The handbook intended to familiarise those providing legal assistance to NGOs, in particular to Roma and Traveller communities with the European Convention on of Human Rights and the workings of the European Court of Human Rights. If properly understood and employed, the Convention and the Court can turn into two dynamic tools for the assertion of minority rights and their protection against prejudice and the abuse of power.
This publication unfolds in four sections – starting with a practical and a theoretical approach towards the Convention and the implementation mechanism entrusted to the Court. The last two sections contain an analysis of relevant case-law concerning Roma, with an explanation of the specific Convention Articles mentioned and their reference to the everyday situation of Roma in the Contracting States, and finally a moot trial exercise on the well-known pattern of similar assignments, including feedback and an evaluation of frequently asked questions.
This handbook should primarily be seen as an organic introduction to human rights law. If it serves to whet the appetite of those who work for and with disadvantaged minorities to delve deeper into the case-law, the doctrine of human rights and the fuller textbooks (excellent ones do exist), it will have served its purpose.