Episode 55 – Detour to Strasbourg with Molly Quell and Isabella Risini

We took a detour to an international court we don’t really follow but that gets mentioned a lot in other case and sets a lot of the precedents for human rights cases : The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) also known as the Strasbourg Court. In January the court held an exceptionally long and raucous hearing concerning, amongst other things, the downing of Flight MH17 in 2014 – when nearly 300 people were killed as their airplane was shot down over Ukraine. The case sees Ukraine and the Netherlands try to hold Russia responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity all over the eastern part of Ukraine (maybe a touch of additional relevance in current circumstances).

We roped in a friend of the show Molly Quell, who did go to France to watch the session in person and covers the court regularly. She writes about international law for Courthouse News Service.

Molly in turn interviewed Isabella Risini, a visiting professor at the University of Augsburg, whose research focuses on the ECHR and in particular, what are called interstate applications, where two countries have a dispute, rather than an individual against a state.

The futuristic ECHR building, photo by CherryX – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

In case you’re wondering what the ECHR looks like after Molly’s UFO’s description we’re added a picture here. Here’s a link to Molly’s story about Georgian condom wrappers.

For recommendations, Molly is reading My Friend Dahmer by Derf Blackderf. She is also listing to The White Vault horror podcast.


This podcast has been produced as part of a partnership with JusticeInfo.net, an independent website in French and English covering justice initiatives in countries dealing with serious violence. It is a media outlet of Fondation Hirondelle, based in Lausanne, Switzerland.