Thursday 30 April 2015

Call for Tenders on Support to ECHR Effectiveness at National Level

The Council of Europe has issued a call for tenders to evaluate the effectiveness of the Council of Europe support to the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights at the national level. The consultancy will focus on the following countries: Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and 'the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'. Here is the announcement of the tender:

The Directorate of Internal Oversight is pleased to inform you that it intends to avail itself of consultants’ services for the evaluation of ‘effectiveness of the Council of Europe support to the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights at national level for 2015 – 2016’.

We hereby invite you to submit a proposal within an open consultation procedure, respecting the tenders file. The deadline for sending the proposals to the Council of Europe office in Strasbourg is 27 May 2015. Failure to submit a proposal containing all the required information and documentation within the deadline specified shall lead to the rejection of the proposal.

Please note that all services, material and reports related to this contract will have to be provided in English. The deadline to submit has been extended to 27 May.

The full tender information can be found here.

Thursday 23 April 2015

Five New Judges Elected to the Court

This week the Parliamentary Assembly elected five new judges to serve on the European Court of Human Rights, in respect of Finland, Austria, Ireland, Andorra, and Liechtenstein. This will mean a renewal of part of the Court, but also a loss of experience. Especially the stepping back of Josep Casadevall (Andorra), one of the Court's vice-presidents and serving on the Court since 1996(!), will be felt.

The new judges (three women, two men) are (links to full press release and CV for each person included): 
Pauliine Koskelo, judge of the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Finland
Gabriele Kucsko-Stadlmayer, judge of the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Austria
PerePastor Vilanova, judge of the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Andorra
Carlo Ranzoni, judge of the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Liechtenstein
Síofra O’Leary, judge of the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Ireland.

·    Good luck to all of them when taking up their new positions in the coming year! 

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Summer School Protection of Fundamental Rights in Europe

The universities of Bologna and Strasbourg and King's College London are again co-organising a Summer School on "The Protection of Fundamental Rights in Europe". The Summer School is held from 28 June to 3 July in the castle of the beautiful Rocca di Bertinoro. This is the description the organisers provided:

The Summer School aims to provide graduates, practitioners and young researchers (Ph.D. candidates) with an in depth background of the protection of fundamental rights at European level. The general courses are about the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The single modules tackle topics alike asylum and migration, EU citizenship, relationship between the CJEU and the ECHR, the margin of appreciation doctrine, constitutional transitions and religious freedom. The course is composed by 30 hours of frontal lectures from Monday to Friday 9-13 and 15-17. The teaching method encourages students to have a proactive dialogue with lecturers.

Registration can be done from early May onwards through the website of the University of Bologna here.

Monday 20 April 2015

Conference on ECHR and General International Law

The European Court of Human Rights and the European Society for International Law are jointly organising a conference on "The European Convention on Human Rights and General International Law". The conference will be held on 5 June in the building of the European Court in Strasbourg. The programme includes presentations by a large number of judges from the Court itself, as well as from colleagues from the International Court of Justice, and a number of leading scholars of human rights and public international law. You can find more information on the conference, including on how to register for it, here.

Thursday 16 April 2015

European Court Recruiting New Registrar

The European Court of Human Rights has opened a vacancy for its highest position below the judges: the registrar. The Court is currently looking for a candidate to succeed to the current registrar. The registrar leads the administrative and judicial support apparatus of the Court consisting of around 650 people, responsible for the processing of individual complaints and for preparing them for adjudication. Here are some of the key tasks to be performed by the Registrar according to the vacancy:

-          assists the Court in the performance of its functions and is responsible for the organisation and activities of the Registry;
-          provides leadership and direction to staff by maintaining a harmonious and efficient working environment within the Registry so as to ensure that the Registry provides effective assistance to the Court;
-          determines the overall staff and budgetary policy; retains an overview and takes decisions on staff and budgetary matters;
-          upholds contact with the highest levels of authority in the Council of Europe, notably in relation to matters affecting staff and budget policy;
-          develops an effective communications policy, in accordance with the instructions of the Court, notably in relation to the media, the general and specialised public and other international and national courts;
-          advises the Court on practice and procedure;
-          represents the Registry and, on the instructions of the President, the Court.

The registrar is elected by the plenary of the Court and appointed by the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe. A registrar is appointed for a renewable term of five years. Please find an organizational chart of the Court itself, including the place of the registrar, here. Those interested in the vacancy should apply before 27 May 2015.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

New ECHR Readings

A large number of new ECHR-related publications have been published as book chapters and articles in the past few months. Here is the first batch of updates on these:

* James Sweeney, 'Non-retroactivity, Candour and ‘Transitional Relativism’: A Response to the ECtHR Judgment in Maktouf and Damjanović v. Bosnia and Herzegovina', Diritti Umani e Diritto Internazionale, vol. 8, no. 3 (2014) pp. 607-622.

* Heta-Elena Heiskanen and Jukka Viljanen 'Reforming the Strasbourg Doctrine on Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in the Context of Environmental Protection', European Law Reporter, no. 11 (2014) pp. 285-295. 

* Adam Weiss, 'Family Reunifi cation at the Interface of EU Law and the European Convention on Human Rights', in: Richard Plender, Issues in International Migration Law (Brill - Nijhoff 2015).

And the German Law Journal vol. 16 (2015) includes a special section on Opinion 2/13 of the European Court of Justice no EU Accession to the ECHR (all articles available freely as PDFs on the journal's website): 

* “It’s the Autonomy, Stupid!” A Modest Defense of Opinion 2/13 on EU Accession to the ECHR, and the Way Forward, Daniel Halberstam;
* Autonomy and Effectiveness as Common Concerns: A Path to ECHR Accession After Opinion 2/13, Christoph Krenn;
*The Reinterpretation of TFEU Article 344 in Opinion 2/13 and Its Potential Consequences, Stian Øby Johansen;
* When Caveats Turn into Locks: Opinion 2/13 on Accession of the European Union to the ECHR, Adam Lazowski & Ramses A. Wessel;
* The EU’s Accession to the ECHR: The Dream Becomes a Nightmare, Steve Peers.

Finally, an article which may have lost some of its topical salience as a result:

* Vilija Velyvyte, 'The Right to Strike in the European Union after Accession to the European Convention on Human Rights: Identifying Conflict and Achieving Coherence', Human Rights Law Review, vol. 15, issue 1 (2015) pp.73-100.