Archive for the 'European Union' Category

ORAM Congratulates EU Court of Justice for Landmark Decision on Credibility Assessment in LGBTI Asylum Claims

EU FLAGPress Statement from ORAM

The Court of Justice of the European Union has issued a landmark decision on assessing the credibility of sexual minority asylum seekers. In A, B and C vs. Staatssecretaris van Veiligheiden Justitie, the Court disallowed inappropriate practices in evaluating the claims of asylum applicants claiming persecution based on their sexual orientation. ORAM hopes the Court’s ruling will bring about more consistent and humane treatment of these asylum seekers.

The Court ruled that EU states credibility assessment methods must comply with the Charter of Fundamental Rights — particularly the rights to human dignity and to private and family life.

The Court rejected several practices found in these cases: Intrusive questioning about an applicant’s sexual acts, use of explicit evidence like films documenting applicants’ intimate sexual conduct, and physical or medical tests purportedly revealing one’s sexual orientation.

Finally, the court held that a delay in asserting one’s LGBTI status does not necessarily indicate fraud, as allowances must be given to LGBTI applicants for the special kinds of difficulties they face.

ORAM will soon publish the first volume of its legal guidance series on refugee and asylum claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This meticulously researched and clearly written comparative work provides unparalleled guidance for adjudicators on credibility indicators used by major asylum countries in claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The volume draws on ORAM’s extraordinary expertise and field leadership in refugee protection training, as well as its research in international law, psychology and sociology. Together with ORAM’s other publications and materials, this work will be a significant contribution to the growing library of tools for LGBTI refugee adjudication and protection available to refugee professionals worldwide.

Related Reading:

Court of Justice of the European Union full judgement

EU Court: verification sexual orientation asylum seeker must not infringe fundamental rights (Intergroup on LGBT Rights)

Last Law in Europe Criminalizing Homosexuality is Scrapped, in First Win for the Human Dignity Trust

Press Statement from Human Dignity Trust

London-based legal organisation the Human Dignity Trust, which exists to support local challenges to anti-gay laws, is today celebrating its first win.

Northern Cyprus was, until today, the last jurisdiction in Europe to criminalise gay people. Homosexual acts between adult males were punishable by 5 years in prison in Turkish Northern Cyprus due to an antiquated law, a hangover from British colonial rule.

The Human Dignity Trust launched a challenge in the European Court of Human Rights to the existence of this law in January 2012, citing that it breached international human rights law, as well as Northern Cyprus’ own constitution. The Northern Cypriot Parliament soon after undertook to examine the provisions in their Criminal Code that made homosexual acts against the law.

Today lawmakers abolished these provisions, thereby decriminalising homosexuality in Northern Cyprus and, effectively, in Europe.

Jonathan Cooper, Chief Executive of the Human Dignity Trust, said:

“This is a historic day for gay people in Europe and a major victory for human rights, equality and the Human Dignity Trust.

Our case before the European Court required the law to be changed. Nowhere in Europe now still criminalises gay people and we are proud to say that we have played a significant role in bringing this shameful chapter in European history to an end.

Laws against private, consenting homosexual acts between adults criminalise someone’s very identity and have no place in the modern world.

These pernicious anti-gay laws, which protect no one and cause deep distress and harm to gay and lesbian people, still exist in 82 legal jurisdictions. But that is one fewer than yesterday, and this we must celebrate.”

Though the Northern Cypriot Parliament has voted in favour of amending the Criminal Code to decriminalise homosexual acts, the final stage in the process requires the President’s assent, which he is expected to give within 15 days.

The Human Dignity Trust’s case has been supported by the Northern Cypriot LGBT organisation Queer Cyprus (formerly ‘Initiative Against Homophobia’). The legal team, led by Nigel Pleming QC, includes Northern Cypriot lawyer Oncel Polili and Tom Mountford. Instructing solicitors are international law firm and member of the Human Dignity Trust’s legal panel, Taylor Wessing LLP

Related Content: 

Northern Cyprus votes to legalise gay sex – The Guardian

Gay sex legalized in northern Cyprus – Euronews

Moldova Repeals “Gay Propaganda” Ban

Repost from GayStar News

The former Eastern Bloc country of Moldova has decided to repeal its ban on the so-called propaganda of homosexuality to minors in the hopes of building greater ties with the European Union

Moldovan lawmakers have voted to repeal that country’s Russia style ban on so-called homosexual propaganda despite the country’s Orthodox Church and Communist Party joining forces against them.

Radio Free Europe reports that Orthodox Christian activists and dozens of Opposition Communist MPs tried to block the entrance of Moldova’s Palace of the Republic in Chisinau to try to stop the Moldovan Government from passing new LGBT anti-discrimination – laws but lawmakers were able to overturn the ban on gay propaganda regardless.

Overturning the ban is the first step in passing the anti-discrimination law as otherwise the Government could be found to be in breach of its own law.

The Moldovan Government repealed the ban in the hopes of being offered an EU Association Agreement at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, Lithuania next month.

The Russian aligned Orthodox Church in Moldova even threatened lawmakers with banning them from taking communion if they passed the anti-discrimination law.

Earlier this month Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of exporting homophobia to other former Soviet Union countries in an attempt to retain control over them.


Stay Informed

Subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 240 other followers

Follow us on Twitter

Categories