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Fit for Purpose or Faulty Design? Analysis of the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice on the Legal Protection of Minorities

Author(s): Anneleen Van Bossuyt

Journal: Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe
ISSN 1617-5247

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Minority protection | European Court of Justice | European Court of Human Rights | jurisprudence

This paper examines whether the European Court of Justice (ECJ), even in the absence of explicit competencies, could play a role in the creation of a European Union policy promoting the protection of minorities and thus preventing their social exclusion. Comparison is made with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) because of the cross-fertilisation between the two Courts. The author argues that there is a conspicuous absence in ECJ jurisprudence on the rights of minorities to their culture and identity, whereas the jurisprudence of the ECtHR in this regard is progressive. In contrast, the ECJ takes the fore when it comes to the protection of the linguistic rights of minorities. In conclusion, the author argues that the ECJ is not fit for purpose, but that to speak of a faulty design is taking a step too far.
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