PR on Judgment in M.A.M. v. Switzerland

Expelling to Pakistan a national of that country who had converted to Christianity in Switzerland was liable to infringe his Convention rights

PR on Judgment in M.A.M. v. Switzerland

The case of M.A.M. v. Switzerland (application no. 29836/20) concerned the applicant’s possible expulsion to Pakistan. M.A.M. is a Pakistani national who had converted from Islam to Christianity while in Switzerland, where he had arrived in 2015 and where his asylum request had been rejected. In today’s Chamber judgment1 the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that if the decision to expel the applicant to Pakistan were to be executed there would be a violation of Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights, in the absence of an assessment of the risk to which the applicant was exposed on account of the overall situation of Christian converts in Pakistan and of his own personal situation.

The Court ruled that the assessment by the Swiss authorities of the risk facing the applicant on account of his conversion to Christianity if he were expelled to Pakistan had been insufficient to uphold the rejection of his asylum request, also given that he had not been represented by a lawyer at any stage in the national proceedings.

Freedom of Conscience

A common appeal to conscience is the phrase ‘I couldn’t live with myself if I…’
It shows the strength of conscientious conviction. It is a concept which has crossed between the religious and secular divide through the ages and is understood by some as a moral constraint upon behaviour which might implore someone to act (or not act) in a particular way.

The Istanbul Convention

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) is a comprehensive international treaty. Its declared goal is to combat violence against women and domestic violence. However, it goes much further than that admirable aim and raises a number of concerns.

EU-OACPS Partnership Agreement – Pacific Region

The Partnership Agreement between the European Union (EU) and the members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), formerly known as the ACP Group of States, is a draft treaty covering a broad range of thematic areas including peace and security, sustainable development, migration and, notably, human rights. Negotiations on the Agreement began in September 2018 and formally concluded on 15 April 2021.

While the Agreement builds on, and is intended to replace, the Cotonou Agreement of 2000, its scope has been expanded to cover new areas, such as “Human Rights, Democracy and Governance in People-Centred and Rights-based Societies” and “Human and Social Development”. Under the guise of advancing inter alia gender equality and the empowerment of women, the document introduces several controversial elements. The inclusion of these elements far exceeds the original scope of the negotiating mandate of the OACPS.

EU-OACPS Partnership Agreement – Caribbean Region

The Partnership Agreement between the European Union (EU) and the members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), formerly known as the ACP Group of States, is a draft treaty covering a broad range of thematic areas including peace and security, sustainable development, migration and, notably, human rights. Negotiations on the Agreement began in September 2018 and formally concluded on 15 April 2021.

While the Agreement builds on, and is intended to replace, the Cotonou Agreement of 2000, its scope has been expanded to cover new areas, such as “Human Rights, Democracy and Governance in People-Centred and Rights-based Societies” and “Human and Social Development”. Under the guise of advancing inter alia gender equality and the empowerment of women, the document introduces several controversial elements. The inclusion of these elements far exceeds the original scope of the negotiating mandate of the OACPS.

EU-OACPS Partnership Agreement – Africa Region

The Partnership Agreement between the European Union (EU) and the members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), formerly known as the ACP Group of States, is a draft treaty covering a broad range of thematic areas including peace and security, sustainable development, migration and, notably, human rights. Negotiations on the Agreement began in September 2018 and formally concluded on 15 April 2021.

While the Agreement builds on, and is intended to replace, the Cotonou Agreement of 2000, its scope has been expanded to cover new areas, such as “Human Rights, Democracy and Governance in People-Centred and Rights-based Societies” and “Human and Social Development”. Under the guise of advancing inter alia gender equality and the empowerment of women, the document introduces several controversial elements. The inclusion of these elements far exceeds the original scope of the negotiating mandate of the OACPS.

Surrogacy

Surrogacy: The Commoditization of Children and Women

Surrogacy is a practice whereby a woman becomes pregnant with the intention of giving the child by agreement to someone else upon birth. It raises a number of ethical, practical and legal concerns.

Surrogacy: The Commoditization of Children and Women

Surrogacy is a practice whereby a woman becomes pregnant with the intention of giving the child by agreement to someone else upon birth. It raises a number of ethical, practical and legal concerns.

Hate Speech Laws

While most will be familiar with the term ‘hate speech’, it is not used by any of the major international human rights treaties, and it has not been clearly defined by the European Court of Human Rights or any other international court.

National governments, technology companies, and international agenciesuse the term ‘hate speech’ in different ways in different documents. It is widely accepted that there is no universally agreed definition of ‘hate speech’ and most attempts rely on vaguely defined terms and subjectivity.

Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental, universal human right. It is recognized in core international human rights treaties. It protects every human person, regardless of his or her religion or belief or lack thereof. Freedom of religion or belief has an internal component (forum internum) and an external component (forum externum). The significance given to religious freedom in law is a recognition that a person’s religion or belief, or lack thereof, is a fundamental part of who
he or she is and how he or she lives. Therefore, protection of religious freedom recognizes and preserves human dignity.

Censorship Zones

A censorship zone sets out a defined area around an abortion facility that prevents citizens from engaging in otherwise legal activities within it. Prohibited activities range from the use of amplification equipment to assembling in a group, or even praying quietly alone. Censorship zones around abortion facilities can range from 100 – 800 meters in circumference and are usually intended to prevent any contact between citizens entering a facility and those engaging in pro-life activities.