The European Court of Justice and Discrimination:
The Chez Case 2015
The judgment of 16 July 2015 in the case of CHEZ Razpredelenie Bulgaria AD v. Komisia za zashtita ot diskriminatsia (C-83/14) is ECJ’s first substantive ruling in a case concerning racial discrimination against Roma. This is noteworthy, given the centrality of Roma to the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights in the area of discrimination (on the European Court of Human Rights, Roma and racial discrimination, see C. Cahn (2015), ‘Triple Helix: The Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, Roma and Racial Discrimination’, in: Claude Cahn, Human Rights, State Sovereignty and Medical Ethics, Leiden: Brill Nijhoff, pp. 106–148.). The ECJ ruling in the CHEZ case is important for a number of reasons, including for recognizing that the ban on discrimination by association applies also to cases of indirect discrimination. Its most significant contribution however is its reflections on the role of stigma in driving discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin. Also of note is its rejection of a number of approaches used in national law – in Bulgaria and elsewhere – as incompatible with European Union anti-discrimination law. The judgment is among the most important ECJ rulings to date on discrimination.   I published an article in the European Journal of Migration and Law, discussing some of the noteworthy aspects of the case.     The article is available here:

A less copyright-bound version appearing in a Dutch law journal can be read by clizking on the button below. 
Chez Electrical Metres Case:  Article Here!
An Activist State for Diversity
My friend Vijay Nagaraj and I wrote this piece on the blog of the International Council for Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) shortly before that organisation sadly imploded (I don't think this article was directly related to ICHRP's demise).    I am not sure Vijay and I were entirely trying to say the same thing as each other, but I think the article still merits reading.   It is about finding a legal and principled basis for a state to actively engage in the promotion of diversity (at least that is what I think it is about).    You can read it by clicking on the photo (left), or copying this URL:
Roma, Discrimination, European Court of Human Rights
I have visited the issue of how the European Court of Human Rights has addressed issues of discrimination against Roma twice:  first in 2006, in the European Anti-Discrimination Law Review, in an essay called "The Elephant in the Room" when I was very critical; then later, in the period 2011-2013, in an essay called "Triple Helix", by which time the Court's earlier -- problematic -- approach had changed fundamentally.    The latter essay became Chapter 3 of my doctoral dissertation, but appeared first in a volume called "Foreigners, Refugees or Minorities", edited by Didier Bigo, Sergio Carerra and Elspeth Guild and published by Ashgate ( ).    In the editing for that volume, the original essay became quite a bit shorter.    On the three black buttons to the right, below the photo, you have:
1.      The earlier, very critical essay:   "The Elephant in the Room" (left button), which still reads well for being empassioned, but is no longer accurate, particularly after the European Court's Grand Chamber overturned the Chamber judgment in D.H. and Others v. Czech Republic in 2007.    

Sredorek, Kumanovo, Macedonia, 1997
Elephant in the Room (2006): EU Law Review
Triple Helix (2011-2013) as published in my PhD ("final version")
Triple Helix (2011-2013), long version, pre-edit ("Director's Cut")
2.     The later essay "Triple Helix", as ultimately published, in shortened but updated form in the book that emerged from my doctoral dissertation (centre button)
3.     The original, longer "Director's Cut" version of "Triple Helix" on the right button.
Minorities, Citizenship and Statelessness
I wrote and re-wrote this essay about 5 times.    The sketch was first presented as part of a co-authored piece with Sebihana Skederovska, presented at a seminar on minorities and citizenship convened by then-UN Independent Expert on Minority Rights Gay MacDougall.     It then got rewritten for a book, but the project fell through, so the book never happened. Then it was rewritten again several times under the influence of various different editors involved with various cursed projects, until it finally landed in 2012 in the European Journal on Migration and Law (thanks Elspeth!).     
Link to published version
Link to samizdat version
Chisinau LGBT Pride 2014 
Lawmaking in Traditional Romani Communities and
International Human Rights Law and Norms:
Case Study of the Real and Potential Role of the
Romani Kris
This is my Oxford Masters Thesis.   It explored the legal implications of a theoretical future official future recognition of internal Romani community lawmaking. Among other things, I wanted to explore international law from the point-of-view of Ayalet Shachar's observation concerning "the surprising lacuna that lies at the heart of multicultural theory: the manner in
which we should deal with demands for respecting diversity, which are not raised as
calls for fair and just inclusion in the public sphere." Mainly though, my effort was to try to provide the basis for breaking through dilemmas faced by minorities who feel their are forced to choose between respect for their own culture and community norms on the one hand, and inclusion in society on the other.    The essay was published in the 2007/2008 edition of the Internation Yearbook of Minority Issues.
Roma minority self-government elections, Hungary 1998 
Click here for International Yearbook of Minority Issues Publication Link
A huge part of my career has been devoted to the problem of racism, mostly in Europe, including the dilemma that -- although a vivid part of our reality -- racism is mostly denied.     I have not often written about racism per se however, since it is frequently quite difficult to find anything interesting to say about racism, beyond banalities such as "it is bad" or "it is unfair".   The essays on the buttons are forays directly into the theme.     The first one is an essay I wrote for a book being prepared by Central European University.   It deals with the transmission of racism through the media, through what I call "coding" -- partially masked messaging.    The book fell through, so the essay never appeared, but I share it here.  The second essay appeared in a collection on contemporary Antisemitism in Poland and Hungary.   My essay looks at the construction of the "national Gypsy" in Hungary.

The third item is an essay published in 2018 in a collection of essays dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).   I was asked to write on the work of the CERD Committee in addressing discrimination against Roma.    The book is available here:

Vinica, Macedonia, 1997
Media "Coding" and Racism
"The National Gypsy" in Hungary
Antisemitism Poland Hungary Book
Download: The United Nations Committee on the Elimation of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and Discrimination Against Roma