Thursday 20 February 2014

New ECHR Readings

A number of new readings and reports have been published on the European Court and the European Convention recently. To mention a few relevant ones:  
The newest issue of the Human Rights Law Review (vol. 14, no. 1, 2014) includes:
* Dirk van Zyl Smit, Pete Weatherby, and Simon Creighton, 'Whole Life Sentences and the Tide of European Human Rights Jurisprudence: What Is to Be Done?'.
* Federico Fabbrini, 'The European Court of Human Rights, Extraordinary Renditions and the Right to the Truth: Ensuring Accountability for Gross Human Rights Violations Committed in the Fight Against Terrorism'.
* Mark Coen, 'With Cat-Like Tread’: Jury Trial and the European Court of Human Rights'.
* Janneke Gerards, 'Inadmissibility Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights: A Critique of the Lack of Reasoning'.
Other publications:
* Uladzislau Belavusau, 'Armenian Genocide v. Holocaust in Strasbourg: Trivialisation in Comparison', a case comment on Perincek v Turkey on Verfassungsblog.
* Laura Hoyano, 'What is balanced on the scales of justice? In search of the essence of the right to a fair trial', Criminal Law Review (2014).
Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights has become a crucial instrument to stimulate and compel the national authorities of the 47 member states not only to abstain from interferences restricting media freedom and investigative journalism, but also to promote transparency, media pluralism and internet freedom. This paper explores some of the characteristics and developments of the European Court’s case law regarding media, journalism, internet freedom, newsgathering, whistleblowing and access to information. The perspective of the analysis is that effectively guaranteeing the right to freedom of expression and information helps developing the quality of democracy, the protection of other human rights and ultimately contributes to realise a more sustainable, and hence a better, world to live in.

* Report by the Parliamnetary Assembly of the Council of Euroe, entitled 'The European Convention on Human Rights: the need to reinforce the training of legal professionals' (18 February 2014):
The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights stresses the importance of solid training for law professionals on the European Convention on Human Rights, as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights. This requires the Court's case law to be accessible in a language which law professionals in each State Party can understand.
The committee is of the view that the European Programme for Human Rights Education for Law Professionals, the “HELP Programme”,is well placed to provide assistance with training on the Convention. This Programme is not intended to replace the efforts of specialist training bodies in each member State; but it can and does facilitate this task, for example by developing teaching materials or “training for trainers”. In many jurisdictions, such training is in need of improvement, and member States are invited to ensure that the Convention and the Court’s case law form an integral part of the basic and further training of law professionals.
The committee urges the Committee of Ministers to ensure that the HELP Programme be allocated appropriate funds to carry out its tasks effectively, and recommends the updating of its Recommendation Rec(2004)4 on the European Convention on Human Rights in university education and professional training, as well as the monitoring of its follow-up.