Friday 31 October 2008

Hurray for the Court!

Tomorrow the new European Court of Human Rights will exist exactly ten years, as I reported earlier. In spite of all the current problems, that is a reason to celebrate! As president Costa remarked yesterday:

Much has been achieved over the last ten years, which has seen over 9,000 judgments delivered and human rights jurisprudence evolve into a common language understood and used by legal professionals and others throughout Europe and beyond. It is enormously important that the Court should be able to continue to play to the full its role as a guarantor of democracy and the rule of law in the 47 States through which its jurisdiction extends. This means that the Court will have to adapt to cope with the massive inflow of cases which it has experienced since 1998, that further reforms to the system are required and, above all, that at the beginning of the 21st century and a few weeks before the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights all the member Governments of the Council of Europe must reaffirm their commitment to effective international human rights protection, while ensuring that their domestic systems offer citizens the possibility to seek redress for human rights breaches at home.
May many more years follow and may the Court stay afloat in the endless sea of applications!