Monday 18 February 2013

Court Reform Special Website

The Council of Europe has launched a special webpage on its site which brings together all the key documents and updates about the ongoing reform process of the European Court of Human Rights. The site was presented last week during a meeting of the Committee of experts on the reform of the Court (DH-GDR). The agenda of that meeting can be found here. The site includes a short history (including all the reference documents) of the reforms so far, an overview of the different working groups (including their documents). Interesting progress reports include:

- a draft CDDH report on interim measures under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court which notes, amongst others, that the number of indications of interim measures has decreased to a considerable extent in the past two years. It also notes, interestingly since this comes from state party representatives, although the text is of course still a draft, that "Member States should be reminded that Article 34 of the Convention entails an obligation for States Parties to comply with an indication of interim measures made under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court and that non-compliance normally implies a violation of Article 34 of the Convention."

- a draft CDDH report on the advisability and modalities of a "representative application procedure" This would be " a procedure by which the Court could register and determine a small number of representative applications from a group of applications that allege the same violation against the same respondent State, such determination being applicable to the whole group" and would thus build upon the pilot judgment procedure. At Brighton, the state parties had asked for this option to be investigated. This draft report concludes, however, that "CDDH is of the view that there would be no significant added value to designing and introducing a ‘representative application procedure’ in the current circumstances." It would offer no clear advantages / distinction compared to existing procedures, according to this report, which even suggests that no further action on this specific idea be taken at the intergovernmental level.

The webpage also includes an RSS feed on upcoming meetings and reports.