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ECtHR recognises submission of Human Rights Centre in Konstantin Markin v Russia

(29-03-2012) The Grand Chamber of the ECtHR has issued an important judgment regarding sex-discrimination in the case of Konstantin Markin v Russia. The HRC of Ghent University had submitted a third party intervention in the case.

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’) has delivered an important judgment concerning sex-discrimination; Konstantin Markin v. Russia. The case concerned parental leave. At issue was the question whether military servicemen can be refused parental leave when such leave is available for servicewomen.


The Human Rights Centre of Ghent University, led by Professor Eva Brems, had submitted a third party intervention in the case. The submission focused on the harm of gender stereotypes. 

The Human Rights Centre is pleased to report that the ruling of the Grand Chamber positively recognizes this intervention. The ECtHR takes a strong stance against gender stereotypes:

“The Court agrees with the applicant and the third party that [the difference in treatment between servicemen and servicewomen] has the effect of perpetuating gender stereotypes and is disadvantageous both to women’s careers and to men’s family life.” (par 141)

For a short discussion of the case see the post by Alexandra Timmer on the Strasbourg Observers blog. This is the blog of the researchers of the ERC project ECHR.