Posts

Showing posts from 2021

Managing persons accused or convicted of a sexual offence: Council of Europe issues new guidelines

Image
The Council of Europe issued a  Recommendation  to its 47 members states containing new guidelines regarding the assessment, management and reintegration of persons accused or convicted of a sexual offence. Adopted by the Committee of Ministers, the Recommendation aims to guide national authorities in their legislation, policies, and practice to prevent and reduce sexual reoffending. The Committee of Ministers recommends that risk assessments, treatments and intervention plans be individually tailored to persons accused or convicted of sexual offences. Prison services and probation agencies should manage and seek to reintegrate persons accused or convicted of a sexual offence in line with the risk they pose. Therefore, the focus should be on an individual’s distinct needs rather than the type of offence committed, especially concerning interventions or treatments. Whilst noting that cooperation between offenders and the professionals is central for effective reintegration, the

Sentencing of the applicant for having insulted the President of the Republic in Facebook posts : Turkey violated Article 10 ECHR (freedom of expression)

Image
In Chamber's judgment (19/10/2021) in the case of Vedat Şorli v. Turkey (application no. 42048/19) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned the sentencing of the applicant to a term of imprisonment – with delivery of the judgement suspended for five years – for insulting the President of the Republic, on account of two posts which he shared on his Facebook account. The content comprised, among other things, a caricature and a photograph of the President of the Republic accompanied by satirical and critical comments concerning him.  The judgment convicting the applicant was based on Article 299 of the Criminal Code, which afforded a higher level of protection to the President of the Republic than to other persons. The Court found in particular as follows.  - There had been no justification in the present case for Mr Şorli’s placement in po

Τhe right of access to a lawyer since the beginning of the criminal proceedings as an aspect of the right to a fair trial

Image
Article by Giorgos Kazoleas, Lawyer LL.M. The right to communicate with a lawyer since the very beginning of the criminal proceedings is an important aspect of the right of access to a lawyer. Article 6 (3) (c) of the ECHR and Article 48 (2) of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights expressly guarantees the right to legal aid in criminal matters. The right to legal aid applies throughout the criminal proceedings, i.e. from the police interrogation -and more precisely, before the commencement of the interrogation - to the termination of the second instance appeal. Suspects or defendants must have access to a lawyer without undue delay. The term "lawyer" refers to any person who, in accordance with national law, is qualified and entitled, inter alia, through accreditation to an authorized body, to provide legal advice and legal assistance to suspects or accused persons. The relevant Directive 2013/48 / EU [1] , delimits the time frames during which the arrested suspect or acc

Russia was responsible for assassination of Aleksandr Litvinenko in the UK (ECtHR)

Image
In European Court of  Human Rights Chamber judgment in the case of Carter v. Russia (application no. 20914/07) the Court held unanimously, that there had been a failure by the Government to comply with their obligations under Article 38 (obligation to furnish necessary facilities for the examination of a case) of the European Convention on Human Rights, and by 6 votes to 1, a violation of Article 2 (right to life) in its substantive and procedural aspects. The case concerned the poisoning and death of the applicant’s husband, Aleksandr Litvinenko, in the United Kingdom, and the investigations into his death. Mr Litvinenko had worked for the Russian security services before defecting to the United Kingdom where he was granted asylum. In 2006 he was poisoned with polonium 210 (a radioactive substance) in London and died. A public inquiry in the UK found that the assassination had been carried out by a certain Mr Lugovoy and a Mr Kovtun, who had been acting on behalf of someone else.  The

Τhe struggle for the abolition of the death penalty continues: Joint statement on the European and World Day against the Death Penalty

Image
High Representative on behalf of the European Union and the Secretary-General on behalf of the Council of Europe made a joint statement on the European and World Day against the Death Penalty (10 October 2021): "The European Union and the Council of Europe reaffirm their firm opposition to capital punishment at all times and in all circumstances. The death penalty is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment contrary to the right to life. Its abolition is essential to ensure respect for human dignity.  This year’s World Day is dedicated to women. Although women represent a small percentage of global death sentences, gender-based discrimination continues to impact women at all levels of the criminal justice system. In some countries, women are sentenced to death at higher rates than men for offences linked to sexual morality, such as adultery. Moreover, mitigating circumstances related to gender-based violence and abuse are rarely taken into consideration during the criminal proces

Fundamental Rights Forum by European Union Agency For Fundamental Rights

Image
The next Fundamental Rights Forum will take place in Vienna on 11 and 12 October 2021. It aims to get back to basics reasserting how human rights matter and rebuild trust to show that Europe cares for its people. The Fundamental Rights Forum is the centre stage for human rights dialogue. It will build a vision of hope in a post-pandemic world, shaping and proposing ideas and solutions, in the face of pressing human rights challenges in the European Union and beyond. It will bring together those who strive to foster strong, inclusive and cohesive democratic societies. This includes human rights institutions, defenders and practitioners, as well as a wide range of partners and social actors, with a particular focus on youth and young people. For more information on past Fora visit:  https://fundamentalrightsforum.eu/

Senior Agent- Lawyer in the Data Protection Function of Europol

Image
The Data Protection Function (DPF) of Europol provides objective assurance and consultation activities designed to add value and improve data processing operations at Europol.  Under Europol’s organisational structure, the Data Protection Function (DPF) is an independent function of the Management Board headed by the Data Protection Officer (DPO) who is appointed by and accountable to the Management Board. The Data Protection Officer’s main task is to ensure. In an independent manner, lawfulness and compliance with Europol’s legal framework as far as the processing of personal data is concerned. The position is in collaboration with Europol Innovation Lab which leads Europol’s involvement in EU Security Research programmes and coordinates the implementation of four H2020 projects (AIDA, GRACE, INFINITY and STARLIGHT), for which Europol is in charge of a number of deliverables. The post holder supports the day-to-day work of the Data Protection Function (DPF) by contributing to da

Adoption of technology by law firms - fact or fiction?

Image
"Adoption of technology by law firms - fact or fiction?" ( 12 Oct 2021  1300 - 1400 BST) - A webinar presented by the IBA Law Firm Management Committee This webinar will use a survey which will be circulated among members as the basis for discussions. The survey will ask questions to determine the real adoption/use of technology by law firms and legal practitioners: • Has the legal profession embraced legal tech, and if so what is the reality? • What time of tech tools are being used; how is tech being adopted; and is it across the firm or just pockets of professionals within the firm? • Are firms spending money on legal tech, and what is the difference between those who are and those who do not have the budget for sophisticated legal tech solutions? • What do clients expect in terms of firms’ ‘tech’ offering, and why? Certificates of attendance for each session will be provided, automatically, to all delegates who have registered in advance and attended the live br

Rights in criminal proceedings: European Commission calls members-states to transpose correctly EU rules

Image
The European Commission decided to start infringement proceedings against Belgium, Czechia, Germany, and France by sending letters of formal notice for failing to transpose correctly EU rules on access to a lawyer and on the right to communicate upon arrest ( Directive(EU) 2013/48 ). The Directive is part of the EU's legal framework on fair trials ensuring that the  rights of suspects and accused persons  are sufficiently protected. The Commission considers that certain national transposition measures notified by the four Member States fall short of the requirements of the Directive. In particular, the Commission has identified shortcomings in relation to possible derogations from the right of access to a lawyer as well as from the right to have a third person informed when being deprived of liberty. The Member States now have two months to reply and take the necessary measures to address the shortcomings identified by the Commission. Failing this, the Commission may decide to go t

Husband who accessed emails of her wife and submitted them in evidence in civil proceedings : No violation of the right to respect for private life and for correspondence (ECtHR)

Image
In ECtHR Chamber judgment in the case of M.P. v. Portugal (application no. 27516/14) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been no violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private life and for correspondence) of the European Convention on Human Rights.  The case concerned an applicant who complained about the fact that her former husband had not been punished in criminal proceedings by the Portuguese courts for having accessed emails that she had exchanged on a casual dating site and for submitting them in evidence in civil proceedings for shared parental responsibility and divorce proceedings, initiated by him before the Portuguese courts.  It had ultimately been the Spanish courts, to which the applicant had applied first (and not the Portuguese courts, to which her husband had subsequently applied), which ruled on the divorce and granted residence rights to the mother, with access rights for the husband.  The Court found, among other points, that t

(Associate) Institutional Lawyer - Specialised in European Union Law: Vacancy in European Investment Bank (EIB)

Image
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's bank, is seeking to recruit for its Legal Directorate (JU) – Legal Department, Corporate (CORP) – Institutional, Corporate and Litigation Division (ICL) at its headquarters in Luxembourg, a (Associate) Institutional Lawyer - Specialised in European Union Law. This is a full time position at grade 4/5. The term of this contract will be 4 years. Panel interviews are anticipated for 2nd half of November The EIB offers fixed-term contracts of up to a maximum of 6 years, according to business needs, with a possibility to convert to a permanent contract, subject to organisational requirements and individual performance. Purpose As an (Associate) Institutional Lawyer, internally referred to as (Associate) Officer Legal Services, you will contribute to the work of the ICL division by advising on legal questions in the areas of Institutional and European Union law, drafting relevant legal instruments and/or other documents a

Pathos, ethos, logos

Image
By Effie Giannakouri, Attorney-at-law, MBA The lawyer, the politician, the teacher, the businessman, the scientist, the mother; we all, to varying degrees, need to communicate and inspire others with our words. We all know that speaking in front of others, arguing constructively and effectively, and expressing a point of view in a simple discussion are critical modern skills. The sheer breadth and momentum of technological development in the last Demi century, the unpredicted and unprecedented Covid19 pandemic crisis, have revolutionised how we communicate, but while our messages can be heard faster and by a  larger audience the quality of that message has deteriorated. With technological advancement comes passivity and reliance. With a move from letter writing, reading and note taking comes a loss of institutional memory on the value of those skills. The preservation and investment of speech and oral communication is a priority  in maintaining and advancing human development and c

Criminal Justice, Fundamental Rights, and the Rule of law in the Digital Age (Report)

Image
In May 2021, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) Criminal Law Committee met Marco Stefan, one of the authors of the Report on “Criminal Justice, Fundamental Rights, and the Rule of law in the Digital Age”, who presented the report with respect to the Rights of the Defence.  The CCBE was delighted to have the possibility to contribute to the report, which focused on addressing questions related to:  • The deployment of remote justice technologies, in particular the use of videoconferencing and remote legal assistance and interviews in judicial proceedings.  • Ongoing initiatives promoting the use of technologies in EU and national justice systems, with a special focus on the digitalisation of judicial files and electronic exchange of procedural documents, as well as the introduction of new procedures for the collection and exchange of data in cross-border judicial proceedings, and the creation of new tools promoting the interoperability of platforms in criminal justic

New ECJ's decision on loans in Swiss francs

Image
In its Judgment dated 2.9.2021 in Case C-932/19 (OTP Jelzálogbank and Others) the European Court of Justice ruled that Hungarian legislation which prohibits the annulment of a loan agreement denominated in a foreign currency on the ground that it contains an unfair term relating to the exchange difference appears to be compatible with EU law.   This is the case if that legislation makes it possible to re-establish the legal and factual situation which would have existed for the consumer in the absence of the unfair term, even if the annulment of the agreement would be more advantageous for the consumer. In 2007, a consumer concluded loan agreements denominated in a foreign currency with Hungarian banks belonging to the OTP Group. In the context of disputes relating to those agreements, the consumer claimed that the agreements were void, pleading the unfairness of the terms stipulating that the exchange rate applicable at the time of the release of the loaned funds, which corresponded t

Implementing ECHR judgments: Latest decisions from the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers

Image
The latest  case-by-case decisions  on the implementation of judgments and decisions from the European Court of Human Rights have been published by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. The Committee adopted 44 decisions concerning 20 member states during the meeting, including three Interim Resolutions [1] on the  S.C. Polyinvest S.R.L. and Others v. Romania  case, the  Cyprus v. Turkey  case and the  Batı and Others v. Turkey  group of cases. 67 Final Resolutions [2] were adopted by the Committee in respect of 246 judgments and decisions from the European court, concerning 21 different states. An  indicative list of cases  to be examined during the Committee’s next full meeting on the execution of judgments, which will take place from 30 November to 2 December 2021, was also adopted. Under Article 46 of the human rights convention, judgments from the European Court of Human Rights are binding on the states concerned. The Committee of Ministers oversees the execution

Τhe thrill of NFTs: The trendy hybrid assets and their legal implications

Image
Article by Panayiotis Antoniades* Introduction: The thrill of NFTs NFTs (Non-fungible tokens) have recently burst into an astonishing online hype. The marketplace of these assets encompasses eager capital holders that are willing to spend great amounts for the purchase of assets, yet in a profoundly unorthodox way. NFTs have revolutionized the way assets are perceived, transformed the media and collectible art industries, and justifiably caused a lot of doubtful conversations regarding their future. From the notorious JPG file of Beeple’s collage, Everydays: The First 5000 Days, sold for $69 million, to Twitter’s co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s first-ever tweet "just setting up my twttr" that auctioned for a charitable cause for $2.9 million. NFT and Blockchain Technology NFTs are digital certifications of ownership of a unique digital asset. The code of the NFT is encrypted on a blockchain, a shared database, which records transactions on a digital decentralized led

Dismissal of a public-sector employee for having “Liked” Facebook posts: Violation of her right to freedom of expression

Image
Ιn Chamber's judgment in the case of Melike v. Turkey (application no. 35786/19) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights.  The case concerned the dismissal of Ms Melike, a contractual employee at the Ministry of National Education, for having clicked “Like” on various Facebook articles (posted on the social networking site by a third party).  The authorities considered that the posts in question were likely to disturb the peace and tranquillity of the workplace, on the grounds that they alleged that teachers had committed rapes, contained accusations against political leaders and related to political parties.  The Court noted that the content in question consisted of virulent political criticism of allegedly repressive practices by the authorities, calls and encouragement to demonstrate in protest against those practices, expressions of indignation about th