Friday, January 25, 2008

European Court of Human Rights Annual Press Conference

The European Court of Human Rights held its traditional annual press conference on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 in Strasbourg.

The President of the Court, Jean-Paul Costa, outlined the major disappointments and postive developments of 2007:

  • the main disappointment was Russia’s refusal to ratify Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights, thus blocking its entry into force. Protocol No. 14 contains a package of measures to streamline the Court’s procedures
  • on the positive side, Costa referred to the complementary work of the other parts of the Council of Europe in preventing violations of the Convention; efforts at national level to implement the Court’s judgments and prevent human rights abuses; and the prospect of the European Union acceding to the Convention.
The Court also issued its annual table of violations by country for 2007 and its annual Survey of Activities for 2007.

The total number of judgments delivered by the Court in 2007 was 1503, fewer than the 1560 delivered in 2006. Turkey had the highest number of judgments finding at least one violation of the Convention recorded against it (319), followed by Russia (175), Ukraine (108), Poland (101) and Romania (88).

It is possible to watch the press conference videos (note: much of it was in French): part 1, part 2, part 3.

The Court is an institution under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (AKA European Convention of Human Rights) that was drawn up by the Council of Europe. The Court website has excellent information about its history, structure and procedures.

The Council of Europe is the continent's oldest political organization, founded in 1949. It groups together 47 countries, including many countries from Central and Eastern Europe, and it has granted observer status to five other countries (the Holy See, United States, Canada, Japan and Mexico). The Council of Europe is distinct from the European Union, but no country has ever joined the Union without first belonging to the Council of Europe.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:32 pm


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