Wednesday 9 January 2013

New Report on Structural Problems in ECHR State Parties

I wish all my readers a very good 2013! To start of this blogging year right away, I would like to draw your attention to a new report by rapporteur Serhii Kivalov, of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), entitled 'Ensuring the viability of the Strasbourg Court: structural deficiencies in States Parties'. This is the report's summary:

States Parties bear the “primary responsibility” for ensuring the European Convention on Human Rights is applied effectively at national level, alongside the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee of Ministers.
The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights deplores the fact that the Court is “still overloaded with a large number of repetitive cases revealing widespread dysfunctions in national legal orders”. It lists nine States (Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine) which continue to have “major structural problems” – adding that countries with a high proportion of complaints in relation to their population should also face scrutiny.

The committee calls on States Parties to the Convention to create strategies and action plans to deal with their structural problems, and amend their laws in line with the Court’s case law. States Parties should also consider establishing a national body responsible solely for the execution of the Court’s judgments. Moreover, national parliaments should be actively involved in the implementation of these judgments, and in particular of those revealing structural deficiencies.

The Council of Europe governments are also called on to “increase pressure and take firmer measures” in cases of dilatory and continuous non-compliance with the Court’s judgments.
As well as giving a precise overview of issues in the most problematic countries, the report also lists a number of possible ideas to improve the situation.