European Convention on Human Rights and Discrimination of HIV+.

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Today, about thirty European Eastern and Western countries are members of European Convention of Humans Rights (Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France) and accept appeal at European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). This possibility is very important for the HIV+ who are victims of discrimination.

First of all, they must appeal at the jurisdictions of their country and after depletion of all possibilities to appeal they can appeal at ECHR against their country if national jurisdictions donít comply with their request.

Indeed, since 1960,ECHR took cognisance of many racism problems, which are all condemned (for example ECHR Req.nį8348/78 and 8406/78.Glimmerveen and Hagenbeek against the Netherlands). Discrimination concerning state of health is a ę sort of racism Ľ and we are able to based appeal on Article 9 of Convention, for example. The judgment of ECHR is more important than a national judgment because itís an international jurisdiction. When ECHR condemns a country, this country and most of the members of European Convention of Human Rights try to change their law to avoid others condemnations at ECHR and, in fact, change the law to protect HIV+ in this case.

Nevertheless, some difficulties continue to exist.

On the one hand, in spite of condemnation of France on 1992 to refuse the change of first name (given name) of transsexual, affecting the private life (art.8 of Convention), the French Supreme Court of Appeal continues sometimes to refuse the change of name based this sentence on the extra patrimonial of human body.

On the other hand, in some countries to begin judicial proceedings is very expensive. So, itís important to find a judicial help system for the HIV+ who are victims of discrimination. As we wrote, the lawsuit at ECHR has often something of an impact on the law. The lawsuit doesnít concern only one case, but every case of discrimination in the future. In Norway, experience of JUSS-BUSS is very interesting. Some students give free legal opinions, but itís just the preparation of the judicial proceedings.

AIDS will get rid with scientific discoveries. But discrimination will disappear with the works of lawyers.

WHO adopts many interesting resolutions concerning discriminations of HIV+; but WHO is only the World Health Organization and not the World Law Organization (which, unfortunately, doesnít exist as yet).

A convention against discrimination of women is, already, adopted, for example, by 138 countries. Itís necessary to prepare a convention against discrimination of HIV+ with collaboration of medical doctors and lawyers .Itís not a total and efficient solution but itís a beginning...


This page last updated on July 2nd, 2002.
Copyright Laurent D. FAURE and NEUROMEDIA 2002.