The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has reiterated that states have discretion regarding what means to use to fulfil their positive obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Given the “wide range of possible measures” that could be taken to ensure compliance with positive rights, these rights have a disjunctive structure since an omission has no definitive counterpart. This article examines how the ECtHR deals with the disjunctive structure of positive rights and how it addresses alternative protective measures that could have been extended. In order to identify the main points of contention, I first draw on legal-theoretical literature that has grappled with the structure of positive rights. I then examine what the Court actually does when it adjudicates positive obligation cases under qualified and unqualified rights. I analyse how and why the review endorsed in the ECtHR’s judgments diverges from or converges with the theoretical model.
The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention) is a relatively recent treaty that has the objective to protect women against all forms of violence and to design a comprehensive framework of measures for achieving this aim. Migrant women are of special concern given the awareness that when their migration status is dependent on that of their sponsoring spouse, they might be faced with a stark choice between staying in an abusive relationship or risking being deported. Article 59 (residence status) of the Convention is intended to respond to this problem by providing an immigration relief to migrant women victims of violence by carving out exceptions in the immigration control prerogatives of host states. Article 59 raises two interrelated questions: under what conditions are these exceptions triggered and what is their transformative potential in the light of the immigration rights that Article 59 extends to migrant women. This article argues that while the Istanbul Convention will generate some positive changes, the overall advancement triggered by the treaty in the area of protection of migrant women suffers from significant limitations.
Understanding the realities of protection in a Europe that had failed to manage the crisis in asylum that unfolded in 2015 and 2016 requires a comprehension of how law shapes and distorts refugee protection practices in frontline states. In this collection Vladislava Stoyanova and Eleni Karageorgiou provide an essential cartography of the state of asylum during the crisis. The volume captures four dynamics: the absorption of EU norms in Central and South Eastern Europe; the reaction in this region to the massive movement of asylum seekers in 2015 and 2016; the initiation of normative developments in the area of asylum during and beyond the crisis by the countries in this region; and the question of solidarity.
Seeking asylum in the European Union (EU) today is as complex as the EU asylum system itself: the different forms of protection that exist do not remain easily accessible and are sometimes not tailored to the specific protection needs of asylum-seekers. The aim of this volume is to provide critical analyses of selected problems that scholars and policy-makers will have to address in the ‘second phase’ of the Common European Asylum System. A broad range of issues are examined relating to access to and qualification for international protection and the further problems raised by this amended set of asylum instruments which continue to impede asylum-seekers from benefiting from effective protection in EU Member States.