Thursday 21 April 2011

Annual Report Committee of Ministers on Execution of ECtHR Judgments

This week, the latest Annual Report 'Supervision of the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights' (covering the year 2010) of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers was published. According to the Committee's own press release:

The year also witnessed the highest number of new cases transmitted to the Committee of Ministers for execution supervision since it started its supervision function - 1 710 new cases. The number of closed cases nevertheless reached 455 (240 in 2009), and the total number of pending cases was 9 325 (7 880 in 2009) by the end of the year. The compensations awarded to the victims of violations in the new cases in 2010 reach almost 64 million euros (54 million in 2009).

In their introductory remarks to the report, the successive Chairs of the Committee of Ministers’ special human rights meetings in 2010 highlighted the important efforts undertaken to address the high number of cases, both by the Court and by the Committee of Ministers. In light of these efforts and of ongoing reflection on the follow-up of the reform, they expressed great confidence in the future.

Taking stock of 2010, the Director general of human rights and legal affairs of the Council of Europe, Philippe Boillat, insisted on the importance of the new working methods adopted by the Committee of Ministers, in force since 1st January 2011. They should allow for a more effective and transparent supervision of execution and, also, for a more appropriate response to the persisting problem of clone and repetitive cases.

Drawing the conclusions from the significant and continuing increase in the number of cases under the Committee of Ministers’ supervision, the Director general stressed the need to improve both the implementation of the Convention at national level and the execution process.

The report includes detailed statistics highlighting the main tendencies of the evolution of the execution process in 2010 and a thematic overview of the most important developments in the execution of the cases pending before the Committee of Ministers.
The optimism of some of the Chairs of the Committee notwithstanding, the readers of this Report can see that the Committee is also facing a very large backlog of cases - not as big as the Court itself, but still considerable. Most of the improvement following the Interlaken process will only show up in the course of this year. The Report gives a lot of insight in detailed matters such as which countries abided by the payment deadline for just satisfaction and to what extent. It also shows that of the total sum of just satisfaction awards, 42% was due by Turkey alone. And even more tellingly, that nine countries (out of 47) accounted for 99% of the total!