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Budinova and Chaprazov v. Bulgaria, No. 12567/13, ECtHR (Fourth Section), 16 February 2021

Type Judgment
Case number 12567/13


Failure of national courts to compensate members of the Jewish and Roma communities for discriminatory statements made by a politician.

Normative references

Art. 14 ECHR
Art. 8 ECHR


1.  For a disparaging statement to be considered capable of affecting the sense of identity of an ethnic or social group and the feelings of self-esteem and self-confidence of members of that group, to the extent that it triggers the applicability of Article 8 ECHR, it must exceed a certain "threshold of gravity". Whether this threshold is reached can only be decided on the basis of the totality of the circumstances of the particular case.

2. The Court has consistently held that statements attacking or bringing into disrepute entire ethnic, religious or other groups deserve no or very limited protection under Article 10 ECHR. The Bulgarian courts, by giving greater weight to the freedom of expression of political figures than to the prohibition of non-discrimination, have thus failed to comply with their positive obligation to respond adequately to discrimination on the ground of the applicants' ethnic origin and to ensure respect for their 'private lives'.
(The two applicants, respectively members of the Roma and Jewish communities in Bulgaria, alleged that the leader of a political party had made public statements constituting incitement to discrimination against their ethnic groups).