Domestic Cases

Strategic litigation at the ERRC means supporting legal cases designed to expose and contribute to the elimination of discriminatory structures that prevent Roma from enjoying full equality.

The majority of the cases in which the ERRC is involved are pending before domestic courts. The ERRC supports cases before the domestic courts in various European countries in order to secure judgments that will change the behaviour of defendants who discriminate against or otherwise violate the rights of Roma. Some of these cases will end up before the European Court of Human Rights if they fall within the scope of the European Convention on Human Rights (which they almost always do) and if the domestic courts do not resolve the matter appropriately (which, sadly, is often the case). However, the purpose of this domestic case work is not primarily to get cases to the Strasbourg court. We believe that justice can be achieved in the domestic courts. That said, we are a European organisation and we always look for cases that have a European impact. The cases summarised here might have such an impact by drawing attention to an issue that is poorly recognised, or by securing an influential domestic interpretation of European Union legislation. We include in the lists below not only cases that are pending before domestic courts, but also cases pending before equality bodies which have the possibility to hear individual complaints.

In most cases, the ERRC provides support to a local lawyer to act on behalf of Roma in a particular case. However, in some cases the ERRC is also a plaintiff or joint plaintiff in the proceedings (particularly in actio popularis cases), and in some cases the ERRC is making a complaint directly on behalf of Roma or in our own name (notably before equality bodies).

You can click below to find out information about domestic cases in which we are currently involved, sorted by country or by the thematic priorities in our current programme strategy. These lists are not exhaustive. The cases are intentionally summarised in a way to avoid revealing personal data. The information is current as of August 2015.

Unless indicated otherwise, these cases are still pending before domestic courts or equality bodies. We may not be able to provide more information about these cases, but if you have questions email office@errc.org with the subject “[CASE NAME] – question for legal department”.

Cases which have reached the European Court of Human Rights are summarised here.

 

Cases Sorted by Country 

Cases Sorted by Thematic Priority 

Albania  State Response to Violence and Hate Speech 
Bulgaria  Access to Education
Czech Republic  Access to Housing
Denmark Free Movement and Migration
France Identity Documents
Hungary Women’s Rights
Italy Children’s Rights
Macedonia  
Romania  
Serbia  
Slovakia  
Turkey  
Ukraine   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

Call for Grant Proposals: Community Legal Work Projects

20 January 2017

The ERRC’s legal work – which the organisation describes as “strategic litigation” – has been called “elite” or “elitist”. Budapest-best legal staff members work with us, Roma, as well as with local lawyers and NGOs, to design cases to have a big impact at national or European levels, and ultimately to ensure greater respect for our rights. But is this really working for us? Are we yet convinced – as the ERRC is – that court cases, and relying on legal rights more generally, are going to make our situation any better?

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Call for Proposals: Website Design and Hosting

18 January 2017

The European Roma Rights Centre (“the ERRC”) needs a clear, bold website to get strong messages across to the allies and foes of Roma rights: We are equal. The rights violations we suffer are real and unacceptable. We are taking our cases to court and winning. And the ERRC’s activist lawyers, advocates, researchers, human rights monitors, and entire team are making it possible.

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Romani Woman Harassed by Racist Hospital Staff during Childbirth Wins Case

18 January 2017

Budapest, 18 January 2017: A Romani woman harassed by staff while giving birth at a Hungarian hospital has won a decision in her favour from the Hungarian Equality Body. The woman who gave birth to her baby daughter in February 2016 was alone in the hospital and intimidated by staff who subjected her to verbal harassment and racial slurs, with one doctor telling her “you Gypsies give birth only for the money!”

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