With the end of summer, the pushback against the Court's drift on disability rights in general and inclusive education in particular begins.
In this contribution for the Strasbourg Observers blog, hopefully the first in a series, I am trying to dissect and (begin at least) to interpret some of the more egregious failures in the judgment Stoian v. Romania.
While this judgment appears to be part of a trend on disability rights as discussed in my article, downgrading disability rights appears to have been used as pretext for the court, or this particular panel of judges, to take great liberties with its procedure in order to achieve a pre-conceived outcome.
Also included in the article is a link to some of my submissions and pieces of evidence in the case, if somebody cares to look into this matter in more detail - SEE THE FOLLOWING POST, below.
"Stoian v. Romania: the Court’s drift on disability rights intensifies
September 5, 2019 Guest Blogger Disability, Right to Education, Stoian v. Romania
By Constantin Cojocariu
By Constantin Cojocariu
On 25 June 2019, the Court released an eagerly awaited judgment in the case of Stoian v. Romania, brought by a disabled child and his mother, who complained about the denial of the right to education. The Court, ruling as a Committee, rejected all claims, brutally ending an unprecedented litigation campaign on inclusive education that lasted a decade. While the judgment generated outcry among disability rights activists worldwide, it also displayed warning signs about procedural shortcuts taken by the Court and its approach to vulnerable applicants more widely. The judgment’s bottom line, that the fundamental rights of persons of disabilities are primarily a matter of resources that disqualifies them from protection under the Convention, is relatively unsurprising, though depressing and not befitting of a human rights court. What is more interesting is how the Court reached this verdict, by downgrading the case to the three-judge Committee level, by distorting the facts, by adopting the Government’s views wholesale and by refusing to apply meaningful scrutiny. In that sense, to some extent, what is lacking from the official record is more interesting than what was included. This is why an admittedly partisan account of the judgment such as the present one – I acted as the applicants’ co-counsel – may prove interesting to the readers of the Strasbourg Observers blog."