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The European Court of Human RightsImplementing Strasbourg's Judgments on Domestic Policy$
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Dia Anagnostou

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748670574

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748670574.001.0001

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Under What Conditions Do National Authorities Implement the European Court of Human Rights' Rulings? Religious and Ethnic Minorities in Greece

Under What Conditions Do National Authorities Implement the European Court of Human Rights' Rulings? Religious and Ethnic Minorities in Greece

Chapter:
(p.143) Chapter 6 Under What Conditions Do National Authorities Implement the European Court of Human Rights' Rulings? Religious and Ethnic Minorities in Greece
Source:
The European Court of Human Rights
Author(s):

Dia Anagnostou

Evangelia Psychogiopoulou

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748670574.003.0007

Focusing on Greece, this chapter compares the effective implementation of the ECtHR's judgments originating in petitions by members of non-Orthodox communities (mainly Jehovah's Witnesses) with the refusal by national authorities to give effect to the judgments concerning the rights of individuals that assert an ethnic minority identity. What accounts for such different national responses to the implementation of the ECtHR's judgments concerning two distinct kinds of minority groups, towards which public attitudes have been equally prejudicial, if not hostile± The analysis of the Greek case shows that Strasbourg Court judgments do not prompt in themselves legal and policy reforms but they can still act as important catalysts in a process of change. The variable domestic implementation of the ECtHR's judgments in the two sets of cases can be understood in reference to the level of existing political support to promote reforms, in tandem with low or diffused public opposition against legal and policy changes pertaining to minorities. These political and societal preconditions have direct repercussions for the approach and position of national judges.

Keywords:   Jehovah's Witnesses, Ethnic minorities, Political elites, Litigation, Policy reform

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