Sexual Orientation Equality In Central And Eastern Europe: The Role Of The European Convention On Human Rights

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JournalEuropean Human Rights Law Review
DateAccepted/In press - 22 Aug 2019
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

For six decades the European Convention on Human Rights has been a beacon of
hope for people in Europe suffering discrimination on the grounds of sexual
orientation. Since the early 1990s, following the expansion of the Council of
Europe to include 22 former communist states, the Convention has become an
important means by which to promote sexual orientation equality in Central and
Eastern Europe. In this article we provide a systematic examination of how the
Convention is being used, in the European Court of Human Rights, to challenge
sexual orientation discrimination in Central and Eastern European states. We
discuss the issues relating to sexual orientation discrimination in these states that
have been raised before the Court and, in turn, assess how the Court has
developed Convention jurisprudence to address them. We situate this analysis in
the broader context of the contribution of Central and Eastern European states to
shaping the approach of the Council of Europe’s statutory organs to sexual
orientation equality, which influences the work of the Court. Our overall
conclusion is that, notwithstanding certain limitations and problems, there is
significant scope for sexual minorities in Central and Eastern European states to
use the Convention more systematically to challenge aspects of sexual orientation
discrimination.

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