Ethnic Profiling: A Rising Challenge for European Human Rights Law
Modern Law Review, vol. 71, no. 3, p. 358-384 (2008)
29 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2014
Date Written: June 6, 2014
Ethnic profiling, defined as the use of racial, ethnic or religious background as a determining criterion for the adoption of law enforcement decisions, has been rising significantly in Europe, in particular in the wake of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks (1.). This article seeks to examine whether European human rights law is well equipped to deal with this challenge, and if not, how it should be reformed. Against the widely held assumption that personal data protection legislation is insufficiently protective of ‘sensitive’ data relating to race or ethnicity, it explains instead why combating ethnic profiling has been made more difficult, rather than less, by an overly protective reading of the requirements of data protection laws (2.). It then discusses the additional measures that European states could take to address more effectively the human rights concerns prompted by the development of ethnic profiling (3.).
Keywords: Ethnic and racial discrimination, Counter-terrorism measures, Personal data protection, Ethnic and racial stereotyping, Stop and search powers.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation