Monday, 21 September 2015

The voting record of the new President of the European Court of Human Rights in respect of sexual orientation discrimination

Guido Raimondi, who has been a judge in the European Court of Human Rights since 2010, was today elected its President. 

Since 2010, President-elect Raimondi has sat in five major cases relating to sexual orientation discrimination. 

Here is how he voted:

In X v TurkeyJudge Raimondi joined a unanimous chamber in declaring that the mistreatment of a gay man in prison amounted to a violation of Article 3, and joined a majority (6-1) in declaring the mistreatment a violation of Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 3 (which was the first time that the Court had ever recognised that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation amounted to a violation of Article 3). 

In X and Others v Austria, Judge Raimondi joined a unanimous Grand Chamber in declaring that the refusal to permit step-parent adoption for same-sex couples did not amount to a violation of Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 8 when unmarried same-sex couples are compared to married different-sex couples (confirming that contracting states that do not permit same-sex couple to marry, and restrict step-parent adoption to different-sex married couples, are not in violation of the Convention) but joined a majority (10-7) in declaring that the refusal to permit step-parent adoption for same-sex couples did amount to a violation of Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 8 when unmarried same-sex couples are compared to unmarried different-sex couples (thus declaring, for the first time, that rights to step-parent adoption that are available to unmarried different-sex couples must also be available to unmarried same-sex couples). 

In Vallianatos and Others v Greece, Judge Raimondi joined a majority in the Grand Chamber (16-1) in declaring that the exclusion of same-sex couples from civil unions, that were an alternative to marriage available only to different-sex couples, amounted to a violation of Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 8. 

In Hämäläinen v Finland, Judge Raimondi joined a majority in the Grand Chamber (14-3) in declaring that the requirement that a transsexual end a different-sex marriage in order to gain full legal recognition of her acquired sex did not amount to a violation of any aspect of the Convention, including Article 12. 

In Oliari and Others v Italy, Judge Raimondi joined a unanimous chamber in declaring that the lack of legal recognition for same-sex relationships (other than marriage) in Italy (his own country) amounted to a violation of Article 8 of the Convention. 

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