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Keywords: Human rights – right to education – Transdniestria – Russia – Moldova – schools – orthography – effective control – extraterritorial jurisdiction
This article explores the right to education enshrined in Article 2 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 and its drafting history, through a close contextual study and critique of Catan and Others v Moldova and Russia, a judgment of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. The case concerned pupils at three Moldovan-language (that is, Romanian language) schools in the unrecognised entity of Transdniestria which refused to become part of Moldova in 1991. The issue for the Grand Chamber was whether Russia exercised effective control over the Transdniestria, that is, a question of extraterritorial jurisdiction. The article contends that the Grand Chamber not only wrongly applied Article 2 and failed to follow its own case-law, but also wrongly attributed responsibility to Russia.