Friday 25 January 2013

Opening Judicial Year Strasbourg

Today is the formal opening of the judicial year at the European court of Human Rights. At this occasion a seminar on “Implementing the European Convention on Human Rights in times of economic crisis” is held.Yesterday, the president of the Court, currently Dean Spielmann, held his annual press conference. The most important result of all the efficiency measures introduced by the Court, including the single-judge procedure made possible by Protocol 14, led to a remarkable result. For the first time in the Court's existence the number of pending cases is on the decrease, falling from 150,000 at the start of 2012 to 128,000 currently (16% decrease). Will the caseload crisis then finally be over? We can only hope so. The Court now estimates that the backlog of cases can be tamed in two or three years. This is the chart on the Court's website that illustrates this reversal of a very long trend:

A provisional version of the Court's annual report and an analysis of statistics (including information on the number of cases per country) can be found on the Court's homepage. Russia, Turkey, Romania, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Compared to the 'top-5' of last year, the difference is that Greece no longer features (now placed number 7 with 52 judgments in which one or more violations were found) and that Bulgaria has entered the top 5.

As a small and last point of note, in the Annual Report, the president of the Court kindly refers to the blogosphere:

In addition, over the past few years a certain number of blogs have appeared online concerning the Convention and the Court’s case-law. They shed new and often valuable light on the way in which our case-law is perceived by others, contributing very effectively to its dissemination. We read them with the greatest interest and I commend these initiatives.