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Showing posts from January, 2021

Election of two new judges to the European Court of Human Rights

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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has elected Andreas Zünd as judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Switzerland and Ioannis Ktistakis as judge to the Court in respect of Greece. Mr Zünd and Mr Ktistakis, having obtained an absolute majority of votes cast, are elected judges of the European Court of Human Rights for a term of office of nine years which shall commence no later than three months after their election. Judges are elected by PACE from a list of three candidates nominated by each State which has ratified the European Convention on Human Rights. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe elects the judges of the European Court of Human Rights, providing them with democratic legitimacy. According to the European Convention on Human Rights, judges must "be of high moral character and possess the qualifications required for appointment to high judicial office or be jurisconsults of recognised competence". T

German Lawyer Margarete von Galen is the new leader of the Council of Bars and Law societies of Europe (CCBE)

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Since 1 January 2021, the Council of Bars and Law societies of Europe (CCBE) has been chaired by Margarete von Galen (Germany) following her election by the CCBE Plenary Session on 27 November 2020. Margarete von Galen has been practising as a lawyer in Berlin since 1983 and as a specialist lawyer in criminal law since 1998. Alongside activities as criminal defence lawyer, she advises on compliance issues and acts as External Ombudsperson for several companies. From 2004 to 2009, she was the President of the Berlin Bar. She has been a judge at the Constitutional Court of the State of Berlin since 2014. In 2008, she joined the CCBE Criminal Law Committee and, from 2015 to 2017, she was a member of the German CCBE Delegation. Her presidency will be supported by James MacGuill (Ireland) as 1st Vice-President, Panagiotis Perakis (Greece) as 2nd Vice-President, and Pierre-Dominique Schupp (Switzerland) as 3rd Vice-President. Margarete von Galen declared: “Among all the current challen

The principle of the most favourable rule as a basic principle of Greek Labour Law

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By Evlampia Tsolaki, Attorney at Law* The principle of the most favourable rule (Günstigkeitsprinzip) constitutes a distinct characteristic of Greek labour law as it introduces a noteworthy exception to the strict pyramidal hierarchy that regulates by and large the relationship of the rules of law in the Greek legal order. Its application presupposes that two labour law legal sources of different legal nature and in any case of different origin co-exist and therefore demand to be implemented at the same time, given that they regulate the same issue, such as the days provided for a leave. On the condition, that an employment relationship falls within the ratione materiae, personae, temporis and loci of those both legal instruments and cumulatively both of its parties, namely the employer and employee, are bound by them, then the primacy will not be determined in accordance with the formal weight of each one, but pursuant to their substantive content according to the principle of the mos

PhD Positions in “Digital Health – Digitalisation in Health Law”

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The Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in Munich is offering several PhD Positions (m/f/div) in “Digital Health – Digitalisation in Health Law”. The Institute is looking for dissertation projects in the field of “Digital Health – Digitalisation in Health Law” for a new research group at our Institute. Possible topics include data protection and cybersecurity in healthcare, personalised medicine, and legal regulation of digital health. Applicants are expected to hold an excellent degree in law that meets the doctoral admission requirements of the Law Faculty at Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (LMU). Candidates should have knowledge in digital law and/or international comparative law. Good language skills in English and German are expected, additional languages skills would be appreciated. Applications should include a short project outline (5 pages max.), a curriculum vitae with list of publications, and copies of certificates and qualifications. Please se

‘Right to disconnect’ should be an EU-wide fundamental right

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European Parliament calls for an EU law that grants workers the right to digitally disconnect from work without facing negative repercussions. In their legislative initiative that passed with 472 votes in favour, 126 against and 83 abstentions, MEPs call on the Commission to propose a law that enables those who work digitally to disconnect outside their working hours. It should also establish minimum requirements for remote working and clarify working conditions, hours and rest periods. The increase in digital resources being used for work purposes has resulted in an ‘always on’ culture, which has a negative impact on the work-life balance of employees, MEPs say. Although working from home has been instrumental in helping safeguard employment and business during the COVID-19 crisis, the combination of long working hours and higher demands also leads to more cases of anxiety, depression, burnout and other mental and physical health issues. MEPs consider  the right to disconnect  a

The authorities’ refusal to legally recognise a change of gender identity in the absence of surgery violated the right to respect for private & family life

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In Chamber judgment (19.1.2021) in the case of X and Y v. Romania (applications nos. 2145/16 and 20607/16) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.  The case concerned the situation of two transgender persons whose requests for recognition of their gender identity and for the relevant administrative corrections to be made were refused on the grounds that persons making such requests had to furnish proof that they had undergone gender reassignment surgery. The Court observed that the national courts had presented the applicants, who did not wish to undergo gender reassignment surgery, with an impossible dilemma: either they had to undergo the surgery against their better judgment – and forego full exercise of their right to respect for their physical integrity – or they had to forego recognition of their gender identity, which also came wit

Excessive formalism as a restriction on the right of access to justice

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By George Kazoleas, Lawyer Formalism may be inherent in laws, jurisprudence and in procedural law in particular, since the rules of law are specific forms that must be applied in real situations. Excessive formalism, however, which characterizes many judicial systems, can sometimes deprive citizens of their right to access the justice in order to assert their rights. Strict procedural rules that most commonly concern deadlines, the limitation period of claims, the method of filing and deficiencies or errors of Court documents deny in essence the right to go to Court. The European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) has issued a number of judgments condemning the law of several countries for excessive formalism in certain cases. Despite being a lawyer, he was not allowed to appeal for himself A typical example is the case of  Maširević v. Serbia (No 30671/08, February 11th, 2014,  in which the applicant, a practicing lawyer, had brought an action before a local Court seeking payme

GDPR fine against housing company for unlawful video surveillance in an apartment building

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The Swedish Data Protection Authority has issued an administrative fine of SEK 300,000 (about 30,000 euros) against a housing company for unlawful video surveillance in an apartment building. The Swedish Data Protection Authority (DPA) received a complaint concerning video surveillance in an apartment building belonging to the housing company Uppsalahem. The complainant claimed that there was a surveillance camera in the apartment house directed towards the complainant's front door. The DPA's audit shows that the housing company had set up a surveillance camera monitoring the floor where the complainant lives. The camera's monitoring area clearly covered two apartment doors, one of which belongs to the complainant and the other belonging to a resident whom has been subject to disturbances and harassment. The housing company states that the purpose of the video surveillance was to resolve disturbances having occurred in the stairwell over time. "The way the vide