Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law


Are Exams Really a Celebration for the Diligent Student?

Analysis of the ECtHR Judgment in Ádám and Others versus Romania

Keywords non-discrimination, right to education, Ádám and others, school-leaving exam, ECtHR
Authors Laura Gyeney
Author's information

Laura Gyeney
Laura Gyeney: associate professor of law, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest; director, Institute for Minority Rights, Budapest. The author is grateful to Sándor Szemesi for his valuable comments on the case note.
  • Abstract

      On 13 October 2020, the ECtHR ruled on the compatibility of the Romanian national minority education and school-leaving exams with the ECHR in the case of Ádám and others v Romania. The ECtHR ruled that the system of school-leaving exams for national minorities in Romania (including Hungarians) does not violate the prohibition of discrimination, taking into account the results of Romanian and Hungarian pupils in the school-leaving exams. The present study argues that the ECtHR judgment, in fact, took a much more nuanced approach to the issue than the judgment at first sight suggests. This is because the ECtHR dismissed the applicants’ complaint only on the basis of the results of the school-leaving exams (in which respect no significant difference between the results of Romanian and Hungarian pupils could be found) and did not take a position on the question whether the fact that pupils belonging to national minorities have to sit two additional exams in the same school-leaving period violates the prohibition of discrimination.

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