Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group & Ors v Georgia

ECtHR, 5th Section, Apps. Nos. 73204/13 and 74959/13, 16 December 2021

Judge O’Leary (President), Judges Yudkivska, Ilievski, Chanturia, Jelić, Bårdsen, Guyomar

The ECtHR ruled that the respondent State’s failure to protect the applicants’ public rally from homophobic and/or transphobic acts of violence by counter-demonstrators and to conduct an effective investigation into the incident breached Article 14 ECHR read with Articles 3 and 11. The individual applicants were Georgian nationals and the applicant associations were Georgian NGOs set up to promote and protect the rights of LGBT people in Georgia. They complained that the Ministry of the Interior had taken inadequate steps to protect participants in various peaceful demonstrations despite having been notified of various threats from identifiable individuals. 2 000 police officers had been deployed but had failed to protect protestors from intimidation and, in some cases, physical assault. Georgia had also failed in its duty to investigate the events. The Court was satisfied that the failures to protect and to investigate had reached the threshold required for Article 3. It awarded the damages sought by the applicants which ranged from 2 500 to 10 000 Euro although it rejected their applications for costs on the basis that they were not evidenced. Continue reading

Association Accept and Others v Romania

ECtHR, Fourth Section, App. No.19237/16, [2021] ECHR 19237/16, 1 June 2021

Judge Grozev (President), Judges Vehabović, Motoc, Harutyunyan, Kucsko-Stadlmayer, Vilanova, Martins

The ECtHR ruled that Romania had breached the Article 14 rights of the individual applicants and the applicant association by failing to protect them from demonstrators who were permitted to disrupt the showing of a film with “homosexual overtones”, and by failing to take adequate measures against those involved. In reaching this conclusiont he Court inferred from the authorities’ failures “a certain bias against homosexuals”. The applicant association was not recognised as having standing in relation to the claim insofar as it was based on Article 8  but was recognised for the purposes of the claim under Article 14 and 11.  Nor did the Court accept that the threshold for the application of Article 3 was met by verbal abuse alone. It declined to consider the claim under A1P12. Continue reading