Dear readers of the ECHR Blog,
2020 marked the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights. Despite its age, the Convention system has never been more attractive. The scholarly work on the Convention continues to rise, with new books, articles, blogs, podcasts and knowledge clips, to name a few. 2020 also witnessed the birth of the first journal devoted exclusively to the Convention system, the European Convention on Human Rights Law Review. The Court too has become more inclusive and youthful over time. In 2020, the Court appointed the first female registrar and the youngest president of the Court.
2020 was also the year of an unprecedented attack on human life and human rights as a result of Covid-19. The death toll of more than 1.6 million from Covid-19, the disproportionate effects of the pandemic on vulnerable groups (e.g. rise of domestic violence) and the record number of derogations from and restrictions to the ECHR are only some of the aspects with which the Court will have to grapple in the coming year(s). These challenges will test the ability of the Convention system to secure human rights not just in times of peace but also of public emergencies.
Over this year, we have published 60 posts in the form of analysis or news on the case-law of the Court and other developments relevant to the Convention system, such as derogations, or the renewed negotiations around the long-waited EU accession to the ECHR. As always, we have also continued to provide updates on new academic publications and events related to the Convention and the Court. And of course, the blog’s editorial team has doubled in numbers!
In 2021, the ECHR Blog will continue to provide the platform for discussion of current and future challenges of the Convention system and to keep you abreast of such developments. We thank, as always our readers for your input and interest - it’s for you that we exist and hope to continue for many years to come. We welcome your submissions and feedback.
Best wishes for a more prosperous and healthy New Year!
Antoine Buyse and Kushtrim Istrefi