Tuesday 30 October 2012

Open Society Paper on ECHR Implementation

The Open Society Justice Initiative has drafted a paper as a kind of counterweight to all the plans and initiatives from the ECHR state parties and those from within the Council of Europe itself. The paper, entitled 'National Implementation of the Interlaken Declaration. Perspectives of European civil society on national implementation of the Interlaken Declaration and Action Plan: Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation and Ukraine' has been formally submitted to the Council of Europe's Steering Committee on Human Rights and will thus become part of the discussions. It includes a large number of practical recommendations, from a civil society perspective to improve the effective implementation of European Court judgments. One of its very useful features is an analysis of implementation problems in some of the most problematic state parties. Hopefully a way to make a difference where it is needed most. Here are some excerpts from the press release:

The 47 members of the Council of Europe have pledged to improve their implementation of the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), something that would significantly reduce the case load that continues to weigh on the Court. After April's Brighton Conference on the future of the Court, the Justice Initiative urged member states to pursue three principle objectives: implementing the European Convention at a national level, complying with judgments of the court, and providing adequate resources for previously agreed reforms.

National governments have presented their assessments of their own progress in this area, but without any significant input from the civil society groups and human rights lawyers who have resorted to the court to address abuses of the European Convention on Human Rights. This paper reflects civil society perspectives on national implementation in seven countries in which the Open Society Justice Initiative works closely with local partners, and in which the lack of implementation in crucial areas severely and negatively affects the promotion and protection of human rights: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.

The Open Society Justice Initiative will hold consultations around the bi-annual meeting of NGOs at the European Court of Human rights in November 2012 to discuss how to improve supervision of the enforcement of ECHR judgments.