Who Can Bring a Case to the European Court of Human Rights

Experts in international law consider the European Court of Human Rights to be the most effective international court of human rights in the world. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] Nevertheless, the Court was confronted with judgments that were not implemented by the contracting parties, as well as the balance between workload management and access. Most Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights have incorporated the Convention into their national legal systems, either through constitutional provisions or through a law or judicial decision. [50] The European Court of Human Rights increasingly gives “high priority” to judicial dialogue with national courts, in particular with regard to the execution of judgments. [51] Although its member States are parties to the Convention, the European Union itself is not a contracting party, since it was not entitled to do so under earlier treaties. However, Article 6 of the Treaty of Nice obliges the EU institutions to respect human rights within the framework of the Convention. As the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force on 1 December 2009, the EU is expected to sign the Convention. This would mean that the Court would be bound by the case-law of the Court of Human Rights and therefore subject to its human rights law, thus avoiding questions of conflicting case-law between those two courts. [ref. needed] In December 2014, the CJEU published Opinion 2/13, in which it refused to accede to the ECHR.

[49] The accession of new states to the European Convention on Human Rights after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 has led to a sharp increase in applications to the courts. The effectiveness of the Court has been seriously undermined by the large backlog of pending applications. In 1998, the European human rights system was reformed to abolish the European Commission of Human Rights, which had previously ruled on the admissibility of complaints, monitored out-of-court settlements and referred some cases to the Court of Justice – similar to the current inter-American system. Individual victims can now submit their complaints directly to the European Court of Human Rights. Between 2007 and 2017, the number of cases processed annually was relatively constant (between 1,280 and 1,550); Two-thirds of the cases were recurrent and mainly concerned certain countries: Turkey (2,401), Russia (2,110), Romania (1,341) and Poland (1,272). Repeated cases indicate a pattern of human rights violations in a given country. The 2010 Interlaken Declaration states that the Court will reduce its workload by reducing the number of recurring cases before it. [83] Following reforms to Protocol No. 14 to reduce the caseload, single judges were empowered to dismiss applications as inadmissible and a system of “pilot judgments” was created to deal with repetitive cases without formal submissions.

[84] [85] The number of pending applications peaked at 151,600 in 2011 and was reduced to 59,800 in 2019. [86] However, complaints submitted to the Court must relate to violations of the Convention allegedly committed by a Contracting State which have directly and significantly affected the applicant. As of November 2018, 47 States were parties to the Convention; these include the member states of the Council of Europe and the European Union. Some of these States have also ratified one or more of the Additional Protocols to the Convention that protect additional rights. If the court finally decides a case in favour of the plaintiff, it may award fair compensation (financial compensation for the damage suffered) and request the State to pay the costs of bringing the action. If the court finds that there has been no violation, the plaintiff is not liable for the state`s legal costs. The European Court of Human Rights uses the doctrine of discretion and refers to the right of Member States to set moral standards within reasonable limits. Over time, the court reduced the margin of discretion (to the point of “depreciation” of the margin of appreciation). [44] The narrowing of discretion is an objective criticised by those who believe that the European Court of Human Rights should minimize its role, particularly of the United Kingdom. [45] Simplified organisation chart of the management of cases before the Court of Justice Each judge is elected to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe by a majority of the votes of three candidates proposed by each State Party.

[19] Judges are elected when the term of office of a sitting judge has expired or when a new State accedes to the Convention. The retirement age of judges is 70, but they may continue to be judges until a new judge is elected or until the cases in which they sit are closed are closed. The judgments of the court are public and must contain a statement of reasons justifying the decision. Article 46 of the Convention provides that States parties undertake to comply with the final decision of the Court. Expert opinions, on the other hand, are by definition non-binding. According to the Court`s settled case-law, the Convention does not empower it to annul national laws or administrative practices contrary to the Convention. The Court has jurisdiction to hear complaints (“applications”) from individuals and States concerning violations of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (commonly known as the “European Convention on Human Rights”), which mainly concern civil and political rights. It cannot take up a case alone. In particular, the person, group or non-governmental organization submitting the complaint (“applicant”) need not be a citizen of a State Party. The European Commission can take an EU country to court for violating fundamental rights in the implementation of EU law. However, this is not possible if it is only a question of national law.

Regardless of their obligations under EU law, all EU countries have also made commitments under the European Convention on Human Rights. This means that as a last resort, after exhausting all remedies available to you in your own country, you can appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if an EU country has violated a fundamental right guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. In 1999, 8,400 applications were made available to consultants. In 2003, 27,200 cases were filed and the number of pending cases increased to approximately 65,000. In 2005, the court opened 45,500 cases. In 2009, 57,200 applications were approved, of which 119,300 were pending. At that time, more than 90% of applications had been declared inadmissible and the majority of cases decided – around 60% of the Court`s decisions – concerned so-called repeated cases: when the Court had already delivered a judgment finding a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights or where there was consistent case-law on a similar case. A nomination may be made by an individual, a group of individuals or one or more other States Parties. In addition to judgments, the court may also issue expert opinions. The Convention was adopted within the framework of the Council of Europe and its 47 member States are parties to the Convention.

The main means of judicial interpretation is the living instrument doctrine, which means that the Convention is interpreted in the light of current conditions. When the Court is seized of an application, it may decide that a State must take certain provisional measures while continuing the examination of the case. This usually involves asking a state to refrain from doing something, such as not deporting people to countries where they are at risk of death or torture. On 5 May 1949, founded in London, the Council of Europe considers that the United Nations Declaration must ensure the universal and effective recognition and application of the rights it enunciates. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is not institutionally linked to the European Court of Human Rights: the two courts are bound by different treaties at least until 2009. However, given that all EU countries are members of the Council of Europe and therefore parties to the Convention on Human Rights, there are concerns about the consistency of case law between the two courts. The CJEU refers to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and treats the Convention on Human Rights as if it were part of the EU legal order[48], since it is part of the legal principles of the EU Member States. If you believe that your rights have been violated, you should contact your country`s national equality body. Claims by individuals against States parties alleging that the State has violated their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights may be submitted by any person, non-governmental organization or group of individuals. Although the official languages of the Court are English and French, Applications may be submitted in any of the official languages of the Contracting States. The request must be made in writing and signed by the applicant or his/her representative. [24] However, the doctrine of appreciation has also been strongly criticized by jurists and academics, which undermines the universality of human rights.

[45] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), also known as the Strasbourg Court,[1] is an international court of the Council of Europe that interprets the European Convention on Human Rights.