John Spencer highlights the implication of the overturning of a French anti-BDS judgement by the European Court of Human Rights in Baldassi v France. Despite Brexit the UK is still party to the European Charter of Human Rights which is adjudicated by the ECtHR which is entirely separate from the EU. So, this judgement limits the ability of Johnson to press forward on his threats to legally limit BDS activity in Britain in support of Palestinian rights.
French president Macron’s attempt to outlaw Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel seems to have been holed below the waterline by a decision handed down in Strasbourg on Thursday by the European Court of Human Rights. The court held that French legislation criminalising BDS, which was strongly backed by pro-Israel groups, violated the right to freedom of expression. It overturned a decision of France’s highest court, the Cour de Cassation, which had endorsed the anti-BDS campaign.
The decision in the case of Baldassi v France has repercussions right across Europe, including the UK, which despite Brexit remains a member of the Council of Europe and thus subject to the ECHR. It poses immediate problems for the German government which has waged a strident campaign against pro-Palestinian campaigners. Continue reading “BDS campaigning is a right in Europe (and the UK)”