European Court of Human Rights and litigation

Find in this section information about cases that have relevance to LGBTI issues. Moreover you can find links to resources that gives a good overview of litigation in this court, download written comments from ILGA-Europe and partners, and finally find media releases and news about cases from the court.

ILGA-Europe has grouped the most important judgments on sexual orientation and gender identity issues from the European Court of Human Rights. To keep things simple we do not as a rule include cases which repeat principles established in earlier cases, nor do we include cases which have been superceded or were unsuccessful.

Cases are categorised according to the following broad headings:

1. Basic rights and individual rights (but excluding same-sex family issues and transgender specific issues)

2. Same-sex family related issues

3. Transgender specific issues

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To gain an overview of the whole field, look at this summary prepared by ILGA-Europe's Council of Europe legal adviser, Professor Robert Wintemute. It documents the key cases which over the last 30 years have progressively tackled areas of discrimination and inequality, starting with the challenge to the criminalisation of same-sex relationships. It categorises cases under:

  • "basic rights" (the right to life, prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment, freedom of expression, assembly and association)
  • "individual rights" (decriminalisation, age of consent, legal recognition of gender reassignment, employment etc)
  • "couple rights" (equal rights for same-sex couples, and for couples involving a transsexual person)

Find the summary here.

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For a more in-depth exposition of key cases, consult the summaries prepared by INTERIGHTS (The International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights)

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Find interventions by ILGA-Europe and partners here.

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Find ILGA-Europe's media releases and news on cases from the European Court of Human Rights here.

Basic rights and individual rights

(excluding same-sex family issues and transgender specific issues)

Find cases and judgments regarding criminal law, freedom of assembly and employment.

Same-sex family related issues

Find cases and judgments regarding discrimination against unmarried same-sex partners (compared with unmarried different-sex partners) and parenting.

Trans specific issues

Find cases and judgments regarding legal recognition of gender reassignment and right of a trans person to contract a different-sex legal marriage and insurance coverage for medical expenses related to gender reassignment.

Interventions by ILGA-Europe and partners

Find third party interventions by ILGA-Europe and partners in this section.

Other Interventions (ILGA-Europe not a party)

Find third party interventions to the court by other partners here (where ILGA-Europe is not a party).

ILGA-Europe media releases and news on cases

Find ILGA-Europe's media releases and news on cases from the European Court of Human Rights.

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