Friday, 29 January 2016

Book on Procedural Dialogue in the ECHR System

Earlier this week I had the privilege to participate as one of the external examiners in the public defense of the PhD of Lize Glas at Nijmegen University. She has written a very structured, clear, and thorough study on 'The Theory, Potential and Practice of Procedural Dialogue in the European Convention on Human Rights System', published with Intersentia. This is the abstract:

Dialogue is the new buzzword for the European Convention on Human Rights (Convention) system. judges throughout Europe have welcomed and encouraged dialogue, and references to the notion have become commonplace at conferences and in academic writing. Yet although the buzz has intensified, exactly why dialogue can be of added value is not often examined. Nor do those who rely on the notion usually explain how exactly it can be operationalised in a practical sense. 

This volume dissects the common-sense realisation that dialogue adds value to the Convention system, within which the State Parties, the Court, the Committee of Ministers (Committee), the Parliamentary Assembly (Assembly), and the Commissioner for Human Rights (Commissioner) interact. The question of why dialogue should occur is answered through an account of the way the system is established and how it functions, and of the developments and reform it has experienced. 

The second aim of the volume is to establish whether Convention dialogue does indeed live up to its potential added value. For this purpose, 26 procedures and ‘procedural steps’ are investigated in the light of ‘indicators of dialogue’. The procedures include third-party interventions, the pilot-judgment procedure, and the Committee’s Human Rights meetings. Both the procedures’ dialogic potential on paper and their ‘dialogicness’ in practice are assessed, based in part on interviews with inter alia the Court’s judges, agents representing the states before the Court, and persons monitoring the execution of the Court’s judgments. 

This volume will be of use to those who are interested in the notion of (Convention) dialogue and its theoretical underpinnings, and those who would like to know more about Convention-related procedures, the execution of the Court’s judgments, and the role that the Assembly and the Commissioner can play in the Convention system. 

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Report on Impact of ECHR at National Level

The Legal Affairs and Human Rights Department of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly has prepared an overview document dealing with positive examples of impact of the European Convention within States Parties. The report, entitled 'Impact of the European Convention on Human Rights in States Parties: selected examples', was written at the request of the Parliamentary Assembly's rapporteur, and in collaboration with the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex. The nice feature of this overview is that it shows an overview per country, not only dealing with recent cases but also those further down in history. In addition, it also shows some instances of how judgments against one country can lead to reforms in another.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Book on Domestic Application of the ECHR

Eirik Bjorge of Oxford University has published Domestic Application of the ECHR. Courts as Faithful Trustees with Oxford University Press. This is the book's abstract:

Domestic courts are entrusted with the application of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as faithful trustees of the rights protected in the Convention. 

This book analyses the way in which the domestic courts in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany apply the ECHR and how, applying the Convention, they define their relationship with the European Court of Human Rights. Contrary to what others have contended, the book argues that it is not true descriptively, nor desirable normatively, that the domestic courts approach the ECHR based upon friction and assertion of sovereignty vis-à-vis the European Court. The proper role played by the domestic courts, and the one which they have taken on them to perform in fact, is to apply the Convention in all good faith, building on the principles of the Convention as set out in the jurisprudence of the European Court. But if domestic courts are in a position to apply the ECHR in the first place, it is because the application of the Convention has been entrusted to them by the other organs of the municipal state; in certain cases municipal principles of the separation of powers have an important bearing on domestic interpretation and application of the Convention.

Domestic Application of the ECHR: Courts as Faithful Trustees shows that, through their faithful application of the ECHR, domestic courts can - and do - make a positive contribution to the development of the law of the Convention.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Recent ECHR Readings

Some more ECHR readings: the most recent issue of the Human Rights Law Review (vol. 15, no. 4, December 2015) includes:

* Natasa Mavronicola, 'Crime, Punishment and Article 3 ECHR: Puzzles and Prospects of Applying an Absolute Right in a Penal Context'
* Matthew Saul, 'The European Court of Human Rights’ Margin of Appreciation and the Processes of National Parliaments'

In last year's August issue of the European Journal of International Law (vol. 26, no. 3, 2015), we find:

* Lorna McGregor, 'Alternative Dispute Resolution and Human Rights: Developing a Rights-Based Approach through the ECHR'


* The Polish Government has published a volume, which is also available online here, entitled The Katyn Crime before the European Court of Human Rights. The volume compiles a whole series of relevant documents which formed the Polish contribution to the Janowiec and others v. Russia judgment before the European Court.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Happy New Year and New ECHR Readings

A very good 2016 to all the readers of this blog - may it be one in which human rights will be better respected than last year!

As a start for the new year, please find below a list of newly selected readings related to the ECHR:

The newest issue of the Netherlands International Law Review (vol. 62, no. 3, December 2015) includes two ECHR-related articles:

* Peter McEleavy, 'The European Court of Human Rights and the Hague Child Abduction Convention: Prioritising Return or Reflection?'

* Jane M. Rooney, 'The Relationship between Jurisdiction and Attribution after Jaloud v. Netherlands'

... some other journal articles:

* Massimo V. Benedettelli, 'Human rights as a litigation tool in international arbitration: reflecting on the ECHR experience', International Arbitration (vol. 31, no. 4, December 2015)

* Stefan Kirchner, 'Outlawing Hate Speech in Democratic States — The Case against the Inherent Limitations Doctrine concerning Article 10 (1) of the European Convention on Human Rights',  Revista de Direito Internacional (vol. 12, no. 1, 2015) 

* Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir, Cross-fertilisation, Clarity and Consistency at an Overburdened European Court of Human Rights – the Case of the Discrimination Grounds under Article 14 ECHR, Nordic Journal of Human Rights (vol. 33, no. 3, 2015) 

...  and a number of book chapters:

* Paul Lemmens, 'The Contribution of the European Court of Human Rights to the Rule of Law', in: Geert De Baere and Jan Wouters (eds.), The Contribution of International and Supranational Courts to the Rule of Law (Edward Elgar Publishing 2015).

* Wladyslaw Józwicki, 'Protocol 16 to the ECHR: A Convenient Tool for Judicial Dialogue and Better Domestic Implementation of the Convention?' in: Elzbieta Kuzelewska, Dariusz Kloza, Izabela Krasnicka, Franciszek Strzyczkowski (eds.), European Judicial Systems as a Challenge for Democracy (Intersentia 2015) pp. 183-209.

... finally, a number of very interesting posts on EJILTalk!:

* Philip Leach and Alice Donald, 'Russia Defies Strasbourg: Is Contagion Spreading?'