Tuesday 25 May 2010

New ECHR Articles in Human Rights Law Review

The newest issue of the Human Rights Law Review (volume 10, No. 2) has been pubished. It contains a number of ECHR-related articles. Here are the titles and abstracts:

* Alastair Mowbray, 'A Study of the Principle of Fair Balance in the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights'

This study begins by examining the origins of the fair balance principle. There follows an analysis of the application of the principle across a range of rights and freedoms guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. The functions performed by the fair balance principle, together with the factors assessed by the Court when utilising the principle are distilled from the case-law. Conclusions are drawn as to the relationship between the fair balance principle and the margin of appreciation doctrine.

* Philip Leach, Helen Hardman, and Svetlana Stephenson, 'Can the European Court’s Pilot Judgment Procedure Help Resolve Systemic Human Rights Violations? Burdov and the Failure to Implement Domestic Court Decisions in Russia'

Pity poor Anatoliy Burdov! He has had to take the protracted route to Strasbourg—not once, but twice—in trying to uphold his rights. It is more than 20 years since he was called up by the military authorities to help clear up after the Chernobyl disaster. His fight for state benefits—due to him because of his exposure to radioactive emissions—still continues. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) delivered judgment in his first case in 2002, and, in the second case in 2009, Burdov gave his name to the first ‘pilot’ judgment against Russia. He is still, even now, waiting for the Russian Government to comply with the decision. This article analyses not only these cases, and how the Russian authorities responded to them, but also the European Court’s new ‘pilot judgment procedure’, aimed at resolving the most intractable human rights violations occurring on the continent. Fashioned out of the ECtHR’s case law, the pilot judgment procedure has had a slow and uncertain start, since its inception in the case of Broniowski v Poland in 2004. However, with the ECtHR delivering four more ‘pilot judgments’ in 2009, the signs are that the procedure is ‘coming of age’. Through the prism of Burdov’s case, we attempt in this article to discern the effectiveness of pilot judgments in tackling systemic human rights violations.

* Annemarieke Vermeer-Künzli, 'Unfinished Business: Concurrence of Claims Presented before a Human Rights Court or Treaty Body and through Diplomatic Protection'

International law has not, yet, defined the limits of concurrent cases involving resort to a human rights mechanism and diplomatic protection. The European Court of Human Rights has on occasion dealt with questions of simultaneous procedures and the International Law Commission (ILC) has described the relation of diplomatic protection to other mechanisms in international law. Even so, the question has not been answered clearly. The present article offers an analysis of the relevant case law and ILC documents, showing the importance of having regard to the facts of the particular case rather than just considering whether a settlement has been reached.