Discrimination based on Place of Residence in Recent Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights with Emphasis on Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dženeta Omerdić, Harun Halilović

Abstract


Widening case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) interpreting the notion of discrimination, especially the ambit of discrimination based on “other status” offers important elements in the understanding of the legal definition of discrimination. More specifically, it offers elements in understanding of the scope of discrimination grounds listed under “other status”, such as the place of residence. Discrimination cases before the ECtHR against Bosnia and Herzegovina relate primarily to the discriminatory nature of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s election system, focusing on ethnicity as the main basis for discrimination. However, often overlooked is the place of residence as the discriminatory ground, identified in numerous cases alongside ethnicity (such as the cases of Pilav, Zornic and recently Pudaric), or as a stand-alone basis as in the case of Baralija. The ECtHR’s positions expressed in judgements to these cases offer certain interpretations important for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s election system, legal and constitutional order and showcase the potential power and influence which the ECtHR’s judgements may have in the strengthening of rule of law and overcoming political stalemates. Outside Bosnia and Herzegovina, the cases may offer some new insights in defining and reinterpreting the legal notion of discrimination and the legal ambit of the prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of place of residence, such as discriminatory effects of legal void and the discriminatory treatment between persons having a place of residence within the same respondent country.


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