Thursday 16 December 2010

Lawyer's Guide on ECHR Admissibility Criteria

Connected to yesterday's post, the Court has launched another post-Interlaken initiative to try and stem the influx of new applications: a Partical Guide on ECHR admissibility criteria. The very elaborate document (over a 100 pages) is a clearly structured overview of the Court's admissibility criteria, with links in the document to the relevant jurisprudence. As the Court's president Costa said: "This handbook will enable lawyers to properly advise their clients on their chances of bringing an admissible case to the European Court of Human Rights. It will save them time, energy and unnecessary expense and it will free the Court to fulfil its vital role, judging serious and important cases to improve human rights protection for over 800 million people." One may hope he is right, but these efforts of information are no panacea for the Court's problems as a comment to yesterday's post rightly emphasized. Information is one thing, willingness to reconsider to apply is another. Still, it is a starting point which necessitates further training at the national level by national bar associations and during the education of lawyers.

For the moment the Guide is available in both French and English and there will be versions in Turkish and russian later on. Hopefully, other countries from which many applications come will decide to translate the guide into their own national languages.