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Chapter Summary

The significance of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for the protection of minorities and vulnerable groups varies considerably across national contexts. In order to understand such differences, it is necessary to illuminate the diverging historical legacies, as well as political and legal traditions that have shaped how minorities are treated in different parts of Europe. It is attempted to distinguish countries in reference to the issues raised by minorities and marginalised groups in the Strasbourg Court. The final part discusses the impact of the Convention and Strasbourg case law on national judicial interpretations. National courts have shifted their interpretations to comply with ECtHR case law mainly in areas in which social perceptions had changed and in which sufficient support by political and other influential elites was already present.

Keywords: European Court of Human Rights; minorities; Strasbourg



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