Wednesday 30 September 2009

RSS Feeds by the Court

The Court added a few features to its website last week which makes it even easier to keep track of its work. Apart from existing feeds on news, webcasts of the Court's hearings, bulletins of the Court's library, and case information notes, there are now also feeds on the most recent judgments and decisions. The good thing is that the latter can be suited to the preferences of the users: either judgments or decisions or both, and either all of them or only the ones with importance levels 1 and 2. In addition, one can choose to receive feeds on cases concerning specific countries.

What's more, and this should help the implementation and use of the Court's judgments in national jurisdictions, the Court plans to put translations of a selection of cases on its website. One may presumre this would mostly concern translations into the language of the defendant state - which would be very useful!

Monday 28 September 2009

Better Working Conditions for ECHR Judges

The Strasbourg docket may be filled to the brim and the work of the judges very demanding, but their status and conditions of service has now at least become more clearly regulated. On 23 September the Committee of Ministers adopted Resolution CM/Res(2009)5 'on the status and conditions of service of judges of the European Court of Human Rights and of the Commissioner for Human Rights'. Amongst others, as far as I am aware, this for the first time introduces a pension scheme for the Court's judges. In addition it regulates other conditions of service, bringing them much more in line with those of personnel working for the Council of Europe.

Harvard Human Rights Journal on ECHR

I had not yet referred to it earlier, but the last issue of 2008 of the Harvard Human Rights Journal contains an article by Jennifer Reiss on Russian non-ratification of Article 14: 'Protocol No. 14 ECHR and Russian Non-Ratification: The Current State of Affairs'. Although the article was written before the adoption of Protocol 14-Bis (which is only referred to at the end of the publication), it is still a useful overview of the reasons for Russia's non-ratification. By the way, the Russian Duma, decided last week to resume the question of the ratification of Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights. Who knows what news may come from Moscow...

Hat Tip: Andrew Dremczewski

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Overview of Case Law on Minorities

For the upcoming volume of the European Yearbook of Minority Issues, Leto Cariolou has written 'Recent Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights Concerning the Protection of Minorities.' It does exactly what the title promises and is therefore an ideal tool for a quick update on the Court's judgments on minority issues in the past few years. The article can be found on SSRN.

Friday 18 September 2009

New Book on Fair Balance

Jonas Christoffersen, director of the Danish Institute of Human Rights, has just published a reworked version of his Ph.D. thesis as a book: Fair Balance: Proportionality, Subsidiarity and Primarity in the European Convention on Human Rights with Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. An important addition to the field of ECHR studies and a very extensive analytical work (670 pages) on a legally complicated principle. This is the abstract:

In one of the most important publications on the European Convention and Court of Human Rights in recent years, a wide range of fundamental practical and theoretical problems of crucial importance are addressed in an original and critical way bringing a fresh, coherent and innovative order into well-known battle zones.
The analysis revolves around the Court’s fair balance-test and comprises in-depth analyses of e.g. methods of interpretation, proportionality, the least onerous means-test, the notion of absolute rights, subsidiarity, formal and substantive principles, evidentiary standards, proceduralisation of substantive rights etc. The author coins the term of “primarity” in order to clarify the obligation of the Contracting Parties to implement the Convention in domestic law.

Tuesday 15 September 2009

New Academic Articles on ECHR

The newest issue of the European Human Rights Law Review (No. 4 of 2009) contains an article by Lord Anthony Lester entitled 'The European Court of Human Rights after 50 Years'. In addition, the newest two issues of the Revue Trimestrielle des Droits de l'Homme have been published. Number 78 features two articles concerning the ECHR:

* Patrick Wachsmann, Vers un affaiblissement de la protection de la liberté d'expression par la Cour européenne des droits de l'homme;
* Jean-Pierre Marguénaud, L'affaire Burden ou l'humiliation de la fratrie
* Nicolas Bernard, Pas d'expulsion de logement sans contrôle juridictionnel - le droit au logement et la Cour européenne des droits de l'homme.

And number 79 contains two ECHR-related articles:

* Frédéric Sudre, Le mystère des " apparences " dans la jurisprudence de la Cour européenne des droits de l'homme;
* Elisabeth Lambert-Abdelgawad, L’exécution des arrêts de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme (2008).

The site of the Revue includes abstracts of the articles in English.

Enjoy reading!

Monday 14 September 2009

Implementation of Judgments Worsening

The implementation of the Court's judgments on the national level is not getting better, to say the least. In fact, 36 of the 47 state parties to the European Convention are now failing to timely implement the Court's judgments. Those are the main conclusions of a report presented last week by Parliamentary Assembly rapporteur Christos Pourgourides. The report is based on a list which shows countries which have either not fully implemented within five years (paying of compensation and/or change or policy or laws) or which "reveal major structural problems". According to the rapporteur this is much worse than previously. He has drawn up a list of problematic implementation cases. One may note that the list contains state parties from all over Europe, both from from original signatories of the Convention and from more recently ratifying countries. All in all, a very worryig trend. Mr Pourgourides rightly calls on his PACE colleagues to raise this matter in their national parliaments.