MINELRES: Newsletter: Minority Rights Information System (MIRIS)

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed Jul 28 19:45:21 2004

Original sender: Miris <miris@eurac.edu> 

Dear Colleagues and friends, 
This is the fifth MIRIS-newsletter which contains some of the most
relevant documents that have been stored recently in the Minority Rights
Information System (MIRIS). Please, click on the blue titles of the
documents in order to see the full text.

At the moment, almost 3 700 documents on national minorities, from 35
European countries, are stored in MIRIS and can be easily accessed on
the website: http://www.eurac.edu/miris

The use of the database is free of charge. 
Any comments and suggestions from your side are very welcome! In order
to subscribe to the MIRIS newsletter, please send an email with the
subject "subscribe" to miris@eurac.edu

The MIRIS Team 

Recently added documents to MIRIS (July 2004) - www.eurac.edu/miris 
Law establishing a State University in Tetovo - January 20, 2004 - in
English and Macedonian 
The Law has established a second University that is conducting its
teaching in Albanian language. One of the basic reasons for the adoption
of the new Law was the need for creating normative and legal basis for
better access of the Albanian minority members to the higher education. 

Amendments to the Law on Local Elections - May 25, 2004 - in English 
The Law on Amending and Supplementing the Law on Local Elections was
passed on May 26, 2004. Among other changes, it prescribed the use of
minority language in ballot, Electoral Boards minutes, public
announcements, work of the Municipal Election Commissions and Electoral
Boards and candidates' lists. Changes regarding the use of minority
language represent an implementation of minority protection provisions
contained in the Constitution and Ohrid Framework Agreement. 

Law no 67/2004 for election of the local public administrative
authorities - March 29, 2004 - in English and Romanian 
The law contains new detailed and somehow complicated provisions
regarding minorities. Article 7 creates a disadvantage for the
organizations of national minorities which are not already represented
in the Parliament. From one point of view, it may be argued that these
new conditions requested to be fulfilled by the organizations in order
to be allowed to participate in the local elections are restraining, in
fact, the right to vote and the right to be elected of persons belonging
to national minorities. 

Law no. 14/2003 on political parties - January 17, 2003 - in English and
The new law didn?t change anything as regards the organizations of
persons belonging to national minorities. Article 55 stipulates that,
basically without few exceptional articles, the whole new law should be
applied as well to the organizations of citizens belonging to national
minorities which participate in the elections 

Governmental Decision on the declaration of 9 of October as "Holocaust
Day" - May 17, 2004 - in English and Romanian 
It establishes "Holocaust Day" following the proposal of the
International Commission for the study of Holocaust in Romania composed
by members nominated by the President of Romania 

Anti Discrimination Law - June 29, 2004 - in Slovak 
Slovak Parliament passed on June 29, 2004 a single legal norm concerning
the prohibition of discrimination. The law prescribes that in certain
circumstances unequal treatment may be allowed, enabling in this way
positive discrimination on ethnical and racial basis. The law
furthermore the Slovak National Center for Human Rights (SNSLP) with a
right to defend a person in administrative proceedings linked with a
violation of the principle of equal treatment. 

Nachova and Others v. Bulgaria - February 26, 2004 - in English 
The European Court of Human Rights held that respondent State is
responsible for deprivation of life in violation of Article 2 of the
Convention, as firearms were used to arrest Roma who were suspected of
non-violent offences. The Court considered that any evidence of racist
verbal abuse by law enforcement agents during an operation involving the
use of force against persons from an ethnic or other minority is highly
relevant to the question whether or not unlawful, hatred-induced
violence has taken place The Court decided that the authorities failed
in their duty under Article 14 of the Convention, taken together with
Article 2, to take all possible steps to establish whether or not
discriminatory attitudes may have played a role in events. 

Aziz v. Cyprus - June 22, 2004 - in English 
The European Court of Human Rights found a violation of Article 14
(prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human
Rights as well as a violation of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (right to
free elections). The applicant Ibrahim Aziz is a Cypriot national of
Turkish origin who was born in 1938 and lives in Nicosia. He complained
that he was refused permission to be registered on the electoral roll,
in order to vote in the parliamentary elections of 27 May 2001, because
he was a member of the Turkish-Cypriot community. He relied on Article 3
of Protocol No. 1 (right to free elections) and Article 14 (prohibition
of discrimination) of the Convention 

Bosnia and Herzegovina - Serbia and Montenegro 
Agreement between the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and
the Council of Ministers of Serbia and Montenegro on the Return of
Refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro, signed
on October 6, 2003 - in English 

Serbia and Montenegro 
Amnesty International's Report: The March Violence: UNMIK and KFOR fail
to protect the rights of minority communities, released on 8 July 2004 -
in English 

Second reports submitted pursuant to article 25 , paragraph 1 of the
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities - in

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance of the Council of
Europe (ECRI) published on June 8, 2004 four new reports on the Czech
Republic, Germany, Greece and Hungary. These reports express concern
about continued discrimination against the Roma minorities in four

About MIRIS: 
The MIRIS System has been developed by the European Academy of Bolzano
The aim of the database is to promote the development of minority rights
standards by providing easily accessible information about the
implementation of minority rights for not only experts, public
officials, NGO's and minority representatives but also interested
researchers and students. 

The MIRIS database includes the most important legal texts relating to
the rights of national minorities by concentrating upon relevant
national legislation and case-law. So as to obtain a more impartial
insight into the relevant issues, such texts have been put together by
reports compiled not only by minority groups but also through opinions
of experts, e.g. the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention. In
addition to this, specific documents on minority groups (covering, for
example statistical data and history) as well as relevant international
treaties and agreements of the UN, Council of Europe and the OSCE are
available for examination. The evaluation of the situation of minority
groups is supported by further texts that are to include case studies,
comments and in depth analyses. 

The MIRIS System is bilingual with texts provided in both English and
the official language of the state concerned. Geographically, all member
States of the Council of Europe are included. 

The database system is easily accessible through any internet browser by
means of a user-friendly interface. So as to facilitate the user's
search, the database includes different user interaction modes, those of
browsing the document database and full text search.