Next year will mark 50 years since the famous 'Greek case' in the ECHR system, when the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Sweden lodged a complaint with the (then still existing) European Commission of Human Rights against the military colonels' regime in Greece. A unique inter-state complaint, that is still very topical in these times when again the question may be asked how the Council of Europe and its member states can act when states travel the road of authoritarianism. The Athens-based institutes of the four applicant countries at the time have now joined forces to organise an international conference entitled 'The ‘Greek Case’ in the Council of Europe: A Game Changer for International Law and Human Rights?' This is part of the content explanation by the organisers:
'In 1967 Denmark, Norway, and Sweden – later joined by the Netherlands – used the European Commission on Human Rights (ECHR) system against the Greek Colonels. On 12 December 1969 Greece withdrew from the CoE to avoid expulsion. The reports of the ECHR constituted a paradigmatic condemnation of the regime by an international body. In light of the growing debates about the usefulness and impact of international pressure on authoritarian states for democratization and the rule of law, the so-called ‘Greek case’ emerges as an important moment in the history of international law, human rights, and transnational justice. The case marked the first time a member of the CoE risked expulsion because of human rights violations. Thus it became one of the pioneer interstate cases over fundamental rights in European human rights law, generating important discussions about the Junta’s brutal regime in other European parliaments. The ‘Greek case’ was also exceptional in that there were no apparent national interests (at least at first sight) on behalf of the plaintiff countries. A decisive moment in the protection of human rights, it was, moreover, instrumental in shaping human rights standards and policy, particularly with regard to torture. Finally, it established non-governmental transnational movements, such as Amnesty International, and solidarity campaigns as important players in international law and politics.'
The conference aims to bring together both early-career researchers and established specialists and invites papers across disciplines, including history, politics, law and international relations, human rights trauma studies, social movement and European studies. In order to do so, a call for papers has been launched. Abstracts for 20-minute papers should be submitted in English (300 words maximum), accompanied by a 100-word biographical note, contact information, and affiliation; independent scholars are welcome to submit.The deadline for submission of proposals is Monday, 14 January 2019.