D.H. and Others v. Czech Republic: A Major Set-Back for Non-Discrimination Norms in Europe

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On 7 February 2006, a chamber of the European Court of Human Rights gave judgment in the much awaited ???Ostrava case???, which challenged the placing of disproportionate numbers of Romani children in ???special schools??? for the learning impaired in the Czech Republic. This practice, widespread across Central and Eastern Europe, amounts in effect to racial segregation and denies Romani children access to a standard of education comparable to their non-Romani peers. The Ostrava case, taking eight months to assemble and seven years to reach judgment day in Strasbourg, represented the centre-piece of the litigation strategy of the Romani rights movement. The decision of the Strasbourg Court to ignore the evidence of indirect racial discrimination by a 6-1 majority represents not only a setback for those working for the improvement of the situation of the Roma ??? widely acknowledged as the most disadvantaged, discriminated and marginalised group in Europe ??? but also for the crystallisation of non-discrimination norms in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-431
JournalGerman Law Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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