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Third party intervention on academic freedom

The Human Rights Centre and Scholars at Risk have submitted a joint third party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights in the cases of Telek, Şar and Kivilcim v. Turkey. The applicants in these cases are three academics complaining about the cancellation of their passports as part of the broader crackdown on the signatories of the 2016 Academics for Peace petition. 

The third party intervention first identifies the significant pressures on academic freedom in Turkey. It further invites the Court to reaffirm and articulate further the recognition and protection hitherto provided to academic freedom in its case-law. In particular, the Court is encouraged to acknowledge not only the detrimental impact on academic freedom involved in the crackdown on the signatories of the Academics for Peace Petition, but also the resulting pervasive chilling effect affecting Turkey’s higher education sector as a whole. Finally, it is argued that the Court should go beyond the provisions of the Convention raised by the applicants and to also take into account the important Article 10 (freedom of expression) dimensions of the applicants’ cases. 

The third party intervention is part of a broader project, in collaboration with Scholars at Risk, on academic freedom in the context of our legal clinical programme. For the Human Rights Centre, the team working on the third party intervention consisted of Bella Mankieva, Ivy Rahedi, Joseph Finnerty and Sofia Sideridou, under the supervision of Dr. Laurens Lavrysen. You can find the submission here in pdf or you can check out our page on third party interventions.


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