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International Approaches to Governing Ethnic Diversity$
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Jane Boulden and Will Kymlicka

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199676583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199676583.001.0001

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Minorities before the European Court of Human Rights

Minorities before the European Court of Human Rights

Democratic Pluralism Unfolded

(p.25) 2 Minorities before the European Court of Human Rights
International Approaches to Governing Ethnic Diversity

Lourdes Peroni

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the ways in which the European Court of Human Rights has applied a major principle underpinning its approach to ethnic diversity: democratic pluralism. The chapter outlines the scope of this principle, assesses its implications for minority protection, and examines whether the principle has translated into minority-sensitive reasoning. The analysis includes high-profile cases brought by national, ethnic, and religious minority members under four provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, which the Court has regarded as the foundations of democratic pluralism: freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, the right to stand for election, and freedom of religion. The analysis shows that democratic pluralism has been one of the crucial forces behind the Court’s protection of national, ethnic and religious minorities. On the other hand, it has sometimes also served as a ground to justify restrictions on their rights and freedoms.

Keywords:   EC HR, democratic pluralism, freedom of expression, freedom of association, right to stand, freedom of religion, minorities, diversity

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