Thursday 7 July 2016

New Book on Criticism of the Court

Patricia Popelier, Sarah Lambrecht, and Koen Lemmens have just published an edited volume entitled 'Criticism of the European Court of Human Rights.  Shifting the Convention system: Counter-Dynamics and the National and EU Level.' The book was published in Intersentia's law and Cosmopolitan Values Series. The full table of contents can be found here. This is the abstract:

"For some time now, the European Court of Human Rights is under substantial pressure. From a case overload crisis it stumbled into a legitimacy crisis with regard to certain countries. This should be taken seriously, since scholars warn that institutions with eroding legitimacy risk demise or reform. The goal of this volume is to explore how widespread this critical attitude of the European Court of Human Rights really is. It also assesses to what extent such criticism is being translated in strategies at the political level or at the judicial level and brings about concrete changes in the dynamics between national and European fundamental rights protection. The book is topical and innovative, as these questions have so far remained largely unexplored, especially cross-nationally.

Far from focusing exclusively on those voices that are currently raised so loud, conclusions are based on comparative in-depth reports, covering fifteen Contracting Parties and the EU.

With contributions of Olgun Akbulut, Tilmann Altwicker, Katarzyna Blay-Grabarczyk, Anna Gamper, Janneke Gerards, Krystyna Kowalik-Bańczyk, Sarah Lambrecht, Koen Lemmens, Lubomir Majerčík, Giuseppe Martinico, Roger Masterman, Aaron Matta, Christophe Maubernard, Armen Mazmanyan, Katharina Pabel, Eszter Polgári, Patricia Popelier, Clara Rauchegger, Michael Reiertsen and Henrik Wenander."

Tuesday 5 July 2016

New Court Videos

The Registry has put new training videos in its series 'COURTalks-disCOURs' online. The videos were made together with the Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals Programme (HELP) of the Council of Europe. The videos of around 25 minutes give an overrview of the Court's jurispriudence in two thematic areas:

The videos are now available in English and French. In the near future, subtitles in many more languages will be provided. The videos are accompanied by full written versions of the spoken text in the videos.

Friday 1 July 2016

Handbook on European Law on Access to Justice

After an early Summer break, I am back at posting on here. Europe's institutions may be under a lot of pressure, but at least cooperation between the European guardians of human rights is still working. The EU's Fundamental Rights Agency and the European Court of Human Rights have just launched together the 'Handbook on European law relating to access to justice'. It is available in online open access format, not just in English, but also in French. Versions in several other language will follow. This is the editors' summary:

Access to justice is an important element of the rule of law. It enables individuals to protect themselves against infringements of their rights, to remedy civil wrongs, to hold executive power accountable and to defend themselves in criminal proceedings. This handbook summarises the key European legal principles in the area of access to justice, focusing on civil and criminal law.

The handbook seeks to raise awareness of the relevant legal standards set by the European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe, particularly through the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights. The handbook is designed to serve as a practical guide for lawyers, judges and other legal practitioners involved in litigation in the EU and in Council of Europe member states, as well as for individuals who work for non-governmental organisations and other entities that deal with the administration of justice.

The publication focuses principally on civil and criminal law. It covers such issues as a fair and public hearing before an independent and impartial tribunal; legal aid; the right to be advised, defended and represented; the right to an effective remedy; length of proceedings; and other limitations on access to justice. It also examines access to justice in selected areas: victims of crime; people with disabilities; prisoners and pre-trial detainees; environmental law; and e-justice.