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Still Silencing the Racism Suffered by Migrants . . .

The Limits of Current Developments under Article 14 ECHR

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The European Court of Human Rights has recently developed its jurisprudence related to racial discrimination in highly significant ways. The Court has rightly been applauded for abandoning its requirement that racial discrimination be proved 'beyond reasonable doubt' and for endorsing the concept of indirect discrimination, allowing it, in the last five years, to begin to find states from 'eastern Europe' in violation of the Convention for having discriminated against especially Roma applicants. While welcome, these new developments should not detract from the need to continue asking difficult questions, including the following: why has it taken decades for the Court to start finding a violation of Article 14 on grounds of race? Why are cases, such as Menson v. United Kingdom concerning the slow reaction of the police in investigating the lethal attack of a black man, not found admissible? Can we expect the Court, created in a region which largely built itself upon colonialism, to generate mechanisms fit to tackle racism? In the past, judges themselves have provided the most virulent critique of the Court's inability to tackle racism. Migrants still remain to benefit from their progressive stance in relation to Article 14 claims based on grounds of race.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Law and Anthropology, Sussex Law School, University of Sussex, UK


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