Friday 17 February 2012

New Documents on Selection of Judges and Reform Measures Requiring ECHR Amendments

Two important documents of the Council of Europe's Steering Committee on Human Rights (CDDH), where much of the preparations for reforms happen, have been put online. The first are 'Draft Committee of Ministers’ Guidelines on the selection of candidates for the post of judge at the European Court of Human Rights' accompanied by an Explanatory Memorandum. These contain detailed requirements on the selection process on the national level of candidates to the European Court of Human Rights. This is meant to enhance the transparency and quality of the selection process. Later on in the year, the Committee of Ministers will probably adopt these guidelines.

Secondly, as part of the Interlaken process, the CDDH has investigated which reforms would require amendments of the ECHR: 'Final Report on Measures Requiring Amendment of the European Convention of Human Rights'. It is meant to be considered by the Ministerial Conference organised by the United Kingdom Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers on 18-20 April 2012. This very informative document encompasses a whole range of widely debated issues. This is the table of contents:

* CDDH Final Report on measures requiring amendment of the European Convention on Human Rights

* Appendix I: Terms of reference
* Appendix II: List of documents (selected reference texts)
* Appendix III: CDDH Report on measures to regulate access to the Court
- Section 1: A system of fees for applicants to the Court
- Section 2: Compulsory legal representation
- Section 3: Introduction of a sanction in futile cases
- Section 4: Amendment of the “significant disadvantage” admissibility criterion
- Section 5: A new admissibility criterion relating to cases properly considered by national courts
* Appendix IV: CDDH Report on measures to address the number of applications pending before the Court
- Section 1: Increasing the Court’s capacity to process applications
- Section 2: Introduction of a “sunset clause”
- Section 3: Conferring on the Court a discretion to decide which cases to consider
Appendix V: CDDH Report on measures to enhance relations between the Court and
national courts
- Extending the Court’s jurisdiction to give advisory opinions