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Case Briefs
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Weekly Roundup of Landmark Cases Vol. 3

On a weekly basis, we identify five interesting case briefs for our subscribers and summarize them in a blog. Below you can find an overview of selected judgements from international and regional courts that shape the modern interpretation of law.

Bayatyan v. Armenia (ECtHR)

The case concerns a Jehovah’s witness residing in Armenia, who refused to perform a military service due to his religious beliefs. The applicant was prosecuted and charged by Armenian officials for evading his military duties. The ECtHR ruled that any system of compulsory military service imposes a heavy burden on citizens and in this specific case, the sentence amounted to interference which was not necessary in a democratic society within the meaning of Article 9 (Freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the Convention.

Osman v. Denmark (ECtHR)

The case concerns a Somali national who obtained a Danish residence permit and moved there with her family in 1995. She was then taken back to Kenya by her father, allegedly against her will when she was still 15. At the age of 17 she applied to be reunited with her family in Denmark, but her application was denied claiming she had been absent from Denmark for more than 12 months and a new residence permit applied to children under 15. The ECtHR found a violation of Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life) stating that the decision not to renew her residence permit interfered with both her private and family life.

Salini v. Morocco (ICSID)

The dispute concerns two Italian companies Salini Costruttori and Italstrade and the Kingdom of Morocco. The tribunal has to decide Whether the request for arbitration was premature and thus inadmissible. Whether the Italian companies had given up on their rights to take arbitration to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes by concluding a contract submitted to domestic rules which gave jurisdiction to municipal courts over disputes arising from the contract.

Ville de Nivelles v Rudy Matzak (ECJ)

The Court considered whether time spent by a firefighter, who was at home on ‘stand-by’, qualified as ‘working time’ under the Working Time Directive (WTD). The ECJ dealt with the following questions: Does the Directive allow for member states to exclude the job done by some recruited people from the definition of working time? Should the term working time and resting period be applicable to the concept of home-based on-call jobs? Does the Directive preclude home-based on-call duties as working time even if it requires such attention from the employee, (answering the call within 8 minutes) that it might hinder them from working elsewhere?

In re Fulton (U.S. Court of Appeals)

In this case, the Bankruptcy Code is examined in light of Thompson v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., which holds that the possession of an asset and preventing its beneficial use violates the automatic stay. The City of Chicago retained 4 separate people’s cars due to their inability to pay traffic fines. Each of them filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and asked for the City to return their cars. The city refused the claim and by doing so, it violated the automatic stay. By applying the Thompson v. General Motors Acceptance Corp. case to the facts, it can be determined that the city violated the automatic stay. As a result, the 7th Circuit affirmed the case.

Thank you for reading our weekly summary. Complete versions of these and other case briefs can be accessed in our case brief library.

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