European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)

The European Court of Human Rights is a regional human rights judicial body based in Strasbourg, France, created under the auspices of the Council of Europe. The Court began operating in 1959 and has delivered more than 10,000 judgments regarding alleged violations of the civil and political rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court’s judgements are binding on the countries concerned and have led governments to alter their legislation and administrative practice in a wide range of areas.

In Themis Court Simulations 2020, you participants will have the chance to discuss, Opuz v. Turkey, a path-breaking case as it opened gate for domestic violence to have a remedy under the international law which was traditionally meant to be addressed as per the provisions of the domestic laws of the respective States where the violence has occurred.

In the case, the applicant Nahide Opuz and her mother suffered years of brutal domestic violence at the hands of her husband. Despite their complaints the police and prosecuting authorities did not adequately protect the women, and ultimately Ms. Opuz’s mother was killed by him. For the first time the Court has elaborated the nature of State obligations with respect to violence in the family – recognising the gravity of domestic violence in Europe, acknowledging the problems created by the “invisibility” of the crime, and highlighting the seriousness with which States must respond. In a judgment relying heavily on international and comparative law, the Court emphasised that domestic violence is not a private or family matter, but is an issue of public interest which demands effective State action.

Agenda ItemOpuz v. Turkey

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