Rewriting Human Rights Decisions
Edited by Eva Brems and Ellen Desmet
Chapter 11: Rewriting CLR on behalf of Valentin Câmpeanu v Romania (ECtHR): actio popularis as ultimum remedium to enhance access to justice of victims with a mental disability
Centre for Legal Resources on behalf of Valentin Câmpeanu v Romania concerned Valentin Câmpeanu, a mentally disabled young adult of Roma ethnicity, abandoned by his family, who died in a psychiatric hospital. The case received much attention because the European Court of Human Rights exceptionally accepted that an NGO may in very specific circumstances have standing to submit an application on behalf of the person directly affected by a human rights violation, even though this person had not given the NGO power of attorney. This chapter criticizes the casuistic and restrictive approach to standing and seeks to integrate disability rights, in particular the access of disabled persons to justice. To this end, the chapter draws lessons from the way the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights deals with the admissibility ratione personae of a petition. Next, it is proven that this way of dealing would not be a radical change from the ECtHR’s current way of dealing with disabilities.
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