AUC Studia Territorialia (Acta Universitatis Carolinae Studia Territorialia) is a peer-reviewed academic journal focusing on Area Studies. It covers political, economic, social, and cultural affairs of North America, Europe, and post-Soviet Eurasia in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The journal was founded in 2001; currently, it appears biannually, both electronically and in print. It publishes original scholarly articles, book reviews, conference reports and research notes. The journal is a publication of the Institute of International Studies at Charles University’s Faculty of Social Sciences.

AUC STUDIA TERRITORIALIA, Vol 20 No 1 (2020), 71–95

D.H. v. Czech Republic: Roma Educational Equality and the Vulnerability of Strategic Litigation

Filip Sys

published online: 01. 12. 2020


In 2007, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled that 18 Czech Roma primary school children had been unlawfully placed into special schools, designed for “mentally handicapped” children, and were subject to indirect racial discrimination. D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic, a landmark piece of strategic litigation, hoped to catalyse tangible Czech educational reform; however, reports persist of Roma educational segregation. Firstly, this study briefly investigates why strategic litigation is an attractive, albeit obstacle-ridden, tool to effect societal reform. The study then conducts an in-depth impact analysis of D.H., focusing on Czech legal reactions and supranational developments and the post-judgment responses of the Czech Roma community. The study concludes that strategic litigation is a potent tool to effect social change but, regarding implementation and obstacles to its use and impact, remains vulnerable if not used in conjunction with extra-legal activism.

keywords: strategic litigation; extra-legal activism; educational desegregation; Roma; European Court of Human Rights; Czechia

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148 x 210 mm
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print price: 180 czk
ISSN: 1213-4449
E-ISSN: 2336-3231