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Toplak and Mrak V. Slovenia: Positive Obligations So That Persons With Disabilities Can Effectively Vote
Voting has been characterized as ‘the right of rights’ (Benhabib, 2004) and is considered by the Human Rights Council as the most important political right to which persons with disabilities are entitled. (UN General Assembly, 2011) Nevertheless, research shows that voters with disabilities continue to face numerous statutory and procedural barriers to participating in elections, such as inaccessible polling stations. (Lord et all, 2014; Schur et all, 2015; & Atkinson et all, 2017) Contracting States to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) must remove these barriers to ensure full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in elections. This presentation centres on the recent Chamber judgment of Toplak and Mrak v. Slovenia. I will primarily discuss the analysis of the European Court of Human Rights of compliance by Slovenia with their positive obligation to take appropriate measures to overcome barriers to participation in elections experienced by the two applicants who were persons with disabilities. The focus lies on analysing the extent to which the Court applied the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as an interpretative aid of the substantive rights and obligations in the ECHR in the context of persons with disabilities.