“Ms. Denise Matthews is a British citizen who lives in the Gibraltar which was added to the EU zone when Britain joined the Union in 1972. With an exceptional arrangement (derogation) in 1993, Britain left the Gibraltar outside the parliamentary elections. In other words, Britons living in Gibraltar will not be able to vote for the European Parliament elections. Denise Matthews thinks that this was a clear violation of the rights given to her by ECHR and sues Britain at the court in Strasbourg. “
ECHR: Primary Law Does Not Bind Me
“The British government makes a strong defense at court saying that the derogation on Gibraltar was turned into Primary Law by EU. However in 1999, the high court ruled that depriving Ms. Matthews from the right to join elections, was the violation of European Human Rights Convention, giving the message that “EU’s Primary Law is not binding on us.” This is one of the most striking examples to the practice of ECHR which keeps the rights of individuals above international conventions. The High Court had made a similar ruling recently on the rights of the Russian minority in Latvia.”
What About The Annan Plan?
“It is clear that ECHR is acting very diligently and even jealously, to implement the European Human Rights Convention and disregards international agreements. This stance will pose a problem in the practicing of the Cyprus Convention. Even if Annan Plan becomes EU’s Primary Law by being passed by all EU parliaments, ECHR might still disregard it. Therefore, it is a big likelihood that the High Court might accept the appeals petitions to be made by Greek Cypriots on such issues as free circulation, property and political rights.. The most critical test awaiting the judges of ECHR in the coming term will probably be about the Cyprus Plan.”