Last week, two new judges were elected to serve at the European Court of Human Rights. In respect of Bulgaria, the newly elected judge is Yonko Grozev. He received 108 of 187 votes cast. Grozev wil succeed Zdravka Khalaydjieva. With his election the Court seems to gain a solid voice for human rights, at least judging from his CV: he is an active human rights lawyer, having taken cases both to Bulgarian courts and to the European Court itself. In fact, it is fair to say that he has litigated in a large number of the most notable ECHR cases concerning Bulgaria, including Anguelova
, Hasan and Chaush
, and M.C.
In addition, he was a founding member of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and involved in a range of other human rights NGOs. He has also trained numerous lawyers in ECHR jurisprudence. His term of office (nine years) will start within three months.
In respect of Serbia, Branko Lubarda was elected. In the first round none of the three candidates managed to receive an absolute majority and Mr Lubarda ended second. in the second voting round he obtained a majority: 90 of 159 votes cast. He is currently professor of labour law at the University of Belgrade. He has been active, amongst others, in state institutions fighting corruption. Mr Lubarda will succeed the current judge in respect of Serbia: Dragoljub Popovic.
One may note, in addition, that at the end of January the new Committee on the Election of Judges of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe started its work
, under the chairmanship of Klaas de Vries. General information on how the process of election of judges works, can be found here