The SA Human Rights Commission (HRC) has filed its submission as third-party intervener before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the matter of Caster Semenya v Switzerland.
It notes that this was the first time it had involved itself in human rights litigation in an international forum. According to The Star, the HRC said it had successfully sought leave to intervene in the matter so it could elucidate the adverse impacts of the IAAF’s Differences of Sex Development regulations on women from the Global South. The commission said its submission did not purport to comment on the merits of the matter, and instead aimed to demonstrate the discriminatory effect of the regulations on the intersecting grounds of race and gender.
“In particular, the commission, as an independent intervenor, seeks to illustrate how the impugned regulations breach article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with article eight (right to respect for private and family life) and/or article three (prohibition of torture) of the European Convention on Human Rights,” it added. The HRC said it sought to demonstrate that intersectional discrimination had a unique and synergistic discriminatory effect on women from the Global South. Furthermore the commission said it sought to achieve its aims with reference to the rich normative jurisprudence of the SA’s Constitutional Court.
“In the light of the complexity of the human rights issues raised, the commission has requested to make oral submissions in the event that the ECtHR grants a hearing in this case,” the HRC said.
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