Wednesday 5 October 2011

Article on Supreme Courts and Evolutive Interpretation of the ECHR

Eirik Bjorge of the universities of Oxford and Oslo has published an article in the International Journal of Constitutional Law (Vol. 9, issue 1, 2011), entitled 'National Supreme Courts and the Development of ECHR Rights' in which he looked at the cases of the United Kingdom, France and Germany. This is the abstract:

The evolution of rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) has in recent years engendered the question of how far national supreme courts ought to go in interpreting the Convention standards evolutively. Should national courts, in other words, play an active role in the development of the Convention, or must they defer this development to the Court? Examining the jurisprudence of national supreme courts in the U.K., France, and Germany, the present article examines this question both “normatively,” by way of looking at the external exigencies of the Strasbourg jurisprudence, and “descriptively,” by way of looking at what in point of fact the national courts have done in this regard. The three national judiciaries studied here have approached this in various ways. The common theme is that all three systems have gone very far in taking onboard a national concept of the ECHR precept of “evolutive interpretation.”