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The European Court of Human Rights


									The European Court of Human
                   Human Rights

   The protection of human rights is a basic goal of the
    Council of Europe
   Main aims:
   to reinforce European solidarity while guaranteeing
    respect for individuals, their rights and freedoms
   To identify new threats to human rights and dignity
   To promote public awareness of the importance of
    human rights
      The European Convention on
             Human Rights

   Drawn up within the Council of Europe
   Starting point was the Universal Declaration of
    Human Rights (1948)
   Signed in Rome on November 4, 1950 by
    Ministers of 15 European countries
   Entered into force on September 3, 1953
Establishment of the Court

   The Convention established an international
    judicial organ with jurisdiction to find against
    the States that do not fulfil their undertakings
   The Court is a supranational court
Importance of the Convention

   The most effective human rights treaty in the
   An international treaty by which the member
    states of the Council of Europe have sought to
    guarantee fundamental human rights to all
    those within its jurisdiction
   The protection machinery set up in Strasbourg
The rights and freedoms protected
        by the Convention

   The right to life, liberty and security of person
   The right to a fair trial in civil and criminal
   Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
   Freedom of expression (including freedom of
    the press)

   The Convention prohibits:
   Torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or
   The death penalty
   Discrimination in the enjoyment of rights and
    freedoms guaranteed by the Convention
   Expulsion of a state’s own nationals

   A protocol to the Convention is a text which
    adds one or more rights to the original
    Convention or amends certain of its provisions
   To date, 14 additional protocols have been
Evolution of the Convention

   The Convention evolves especially by means
    of the interpretation of its provisions by the
    European Court of Human Rights.
   Through its case law, the Court has extended
    the rights afforded and has applied them to
    situations that were not foreseeable when the
    Convention was first adopted
        Organisation of the Court

   Composed of a number of judges equal to that
    of the contracting states (currently 47)
   Judges are elected by the Parliamentary
    Assembly of the Council of Europe for a
    renewable term of six years
   Judges are impartial arbiters, rather than
    representatives of any State
The Registry

   The Registry is the body of staff that provides
    the Court with legal and administrative support
    in its judicial work.
   It is made up of lawyers, administrative and
    technical staff and translators
The Court’s budget

   The Court’s expenditure is borne by the
    Council of Europe
   For 2009 the Court’s budget amounted to 56
    million euros and it covered salaries of judges
    and staff and various overheads (travel,
    translation, publications etc.)
           Functions of the Court

   The Court applies the Convention
   Its task is to ensure that States respect the
    rights and guarantees set out in the
   It does this by examining complaints known as
    “applications” lodged by individuals or States
The Court’s composition

Cases are heard by one of three main
 Three –judge Comittee (manifestly
  inadmissible applications; unanimous vote)
 Nine-judge Chamber (rules by a majority vote,
  mostly on the admissibility and merits of a
  case) – expanded from seven originally
 The Grand Chamber of 21 judges (formerly 17)
The scope of the Court’s

   The Court has jurisdiction to hear allegations of
    violations of the European Convention on
    Human Rights and does so on receiving
    individual or inter-State applications
   The Court cannot take up cases of its own

   Individual applications are lodged by any
    person, group, company or NGO having a
    complaint about a violation of their rights
   State application is brought by one State
    against another
   Almost all applications so far have been lodged
    by individuals
Proceedings before the Court

   The admissibility stage (the application must meet
    certain requirements)
   The merits stage (the examination of the complaint)
   If the application is declared admissible (1 out of every
    20 cases), the Court advocates reaching a friendly
    settlement, which ranges from a change in the law(s) to
   The procedure is adversarial (the parties to a case
    have to find the evidence themselves) and public

   Where the Court finds that a member State has
    violated one or more rights and guarantees,
    the Court delivers a judgment
   Judgments are binding: the countries
    concerned are under an obligation to comply
    with them
What is the Court not able to do

   The Court does not act as a court of appeal
   The Court will not intercede directly on your behalf with
    the authority you are complaining about
   The Court will not help you find or pay a lawyer to draw
    up your application
   The Court cannot give you any information on legal
    provisions in force in the State against which your
    complaint is directed
                The application

   The application can be written in one of the
    Court’s official languages (English and French)
    or in the language of one of the States that
    have ratified the Convention
   It must contain a brief summary of the facts,
    and indication of the Convention rights that
    have allegedly been violated, the remedies
    already used, copies of the decision given in
    the case and the signature of the applicant
Rules for applications

   A non-anonymous petitioner must bring the
    case to the Court within six months of the final
    domestic ruling on it
   The issue must be a violation of a guarantee
    set forth in the European Convention
   The applicant must be a “victim”
The Court’s activity

   Over 30,000 new applications are lodged every
   64% of the violations found by the Court
    concern Article 6 (right to a fair hearing) or
    Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of
The Court’s future

   Protocol No. 14 aims to guarantee the long-
    term efficiency of the Court and provides for
    new judicial formation to deal with the simplest
    cases, for a new admissibility criterion and for
    judges’ terms of office to be extended to nine
   Council of Europe – Vijeće Europe
   Treaty – međunarodni ugovor
   Jurisdiction – nadležnost
   The death penalty – smrtna kazna
   Expulsion – progon
   Parliamentary Assembly – Parlamentarna Skupština
   Term of office – mandat
   Violation of human rights – kršenje ljudskih prava
   Adversarial procedure – akuzatorni postupak
   Binding judgment – obvezujuća presuda

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