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The European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights: Implementing Strasbourg’s Judgments on Domestic Policy

Edited by Dia Anagnostou
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    The European Court of Human Rights
    Book Description:

    Since the turn of the millenium, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has been the transnational setting for a European-wide ‘rights revolution’. This book aims to contribute to a flourishing scholarship on human rights, courts and legal processes, and their consequences for national politics. Adopting an inter-disciplinary perspective, it considers the domestic implementation of ECtHR judgments, and their impact upon national laws, policies and institutions.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-7058-1
    Subjects: Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. The contributors
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction: Untangling the domestic implementation of the European Court of Human Rights’ judgments
    (pp. 1-24)
    Dia Anagnostou

    Over the past couple of years, the European Convention of Human Rights (hereafter ECHR or Convention) and its judicial arm in Strasbourg have attracted renewed scholarly interest. The European Court of Human Rights (hereafter ECtHR or Court) is a paradigmatic instance of a transnational tribunal that fundamentally differs from an international court based on interstate processes:¹ it allows individuals, but also other civil society actors, to raise claims against states, once they exhaust domestic remedies. Over time, poised between judicial restraint and activism, the Court has expansively interpreted the basic civil and political rights contained in the Convention, as well...


    • Chapter 1 The interrelationship between domestic judicial mechanisms and the Strasbourg Court rulings in Germany
      (pp. 27-48)
      Sebastian Müller and Christoph Gusy

      The European Convention on Human Rights (hereafter ECHR, or Convention) has gained more importance within the multi-level system of judicial protection of human rights in Germany in recent years. The number of adverse judgments against Germany delivered by the European Court of Human Rights (hereafter ECtHR, or Strasbourg Court) has been relatively low compared with other member states of the Council of Europe.¹ In 2007 and 2008, the ECtHR found a violation of the Convention in seven and six judgments respectively.² The number is even lower when one looks into the records before the Strasbourg Court became a permanent institution...

    • Chapter 2 Between political inertia and timid judicial activism: the attempts to overcome the Italian ‘implementation failure’
      (pp. 49-70)
      Serena Sileoni

      The Italian legal system, as in every contemporary state, is not an isolated system, impervious to international and supranational legal rules. Far from it, it is part of a complex and broader legal community, where international institutions, in relation to their competences, play an influential role within the domestic system. Regarding the protection of human rights, the most important international regime bearing sustained influence on the Italian system is the European Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter ECHR), which has introduced an indirect system of control over national law. To be sure, the European Union, in whose foundation Italy played a...

    • Chapter 3 The reluctant embrace: the impact of the European Court of Human Rights in post-communist Romania
      (pp. 71-94)
      Dragoş Bogdan and Alina Mungiu-Pippidi

      Romania’s politics after its 1989 ‘entangled revolution’¹ can be roughly divided into two phases. The first phase was one of democratisation, following the only ‘revolution’ in central and eastern Europe which did not bring about a victory for anti-communists in the subsequent elections. Ion Iliescu, a former communist leader, and his populist National Salvation Front (NSF), which campaigned with slogans against party politics and Western capitalism, won an overwhelming victory after the first free but unfair elections in May 1990. The second phase was one of consolidation, which started with the peaceful departure from power of Iliescu in 1996, after...


    • Chapter 4 European human rights case law and the rights of homosexuals, foreigners and immigrants in Austria
      (pp. 97-121)
      Kerstin Buchinger, Barbara Liegl and Astrid Steinkellner

      After regaining its full sovereignty through the Austrian State Treaty in 1955, Austria joined the Council of Europe (CoE) as its fifteenth member state on 16 April 1956. Accession to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR or the Convention) was politically undisputed and perceived as a mere act of European solidarity. Both the government and the judiciary were of the opinion that fundamental rights were already sufficiently guaranteed within the domestic legal order. Therefore, the ratification of the Convention was not considered to have any substantial consequences. It came as a surprise when...

    • Chapter 5 Political opposition and judicial resistance to Strasbourg case law regarding minorities in Bulgaria
      (pp. 122-142)
      Yonko Grozev

      Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (hereafter ECtHR or the Court) against Bulgaria have had a significant influence on introducing human rights principles into the domestic legal system since the late 1990s. A main reason for their strong influence was that these judgments substituted for the lack of a domestic human rights tradition. During the fifty years of communist rule, enforcement of individual rights through the courts was practically non-existent. Another reason for the strong domestic influence of the ECtHR’s judgments is the lack of an individual complaints procedure before the Bulgarian Constitutional Court, which significantly limits its...

    • Chapter 6 Under what conditions do national authorities implement the European Court of Human Rights’ rulings? Religious and ethnic minorities in Greece
      (pp. 143-165)
      Dia Anagnostou and Evangelia Psychogiopoulou

      Courts have often served as an alternative arena for minorities to claim their rights when other avenues of political participation are closed or ineffective. While not specifically intended to protect minorities, the European Court of Human Rights (hereafter ECtHR) has pre-eminently provided such an arena. Over time, it has developed a substantial case law related to minority rights by creatively, and at times expansively, interpreting the fundamental rights contained in the European Convention of Human Rights (hereafter ECHR or Convention).¹ However, the ability of courts to uphold the rights of minorities and to influence how governments treat them has been...

    • Chapter 7 A complicated affair: Turkey’s Kurds and the European Court of Human Rights
      (pp. 166-187)
      Dilek Kurban and Haldun Gülalp

      The conflict between the Kurdish movement and the state remains the deepest faultline in Turkish politics. Obsessed with the preservation of national unity and homogeneity, the Turkish state has had little tolerance for Kurdish demands for greater legal recognition and a measure of autonomy. In a strategic move in its application for membership to what was then the European Community, Turkey decided in 1987 to give its citizens the right to petition the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR/the Court/Strasbourg). It was subsequently faced with the Kurds’ effective use of this mechanism to raise international awareness to their plight. Since...

    • Chapter 8 The European Court of Human Rights and minorities in the United Kingdom: catalyst for change or hollow rhetoric?
      (pp. 188-210)
      Kimberley Brayson and Gabriel Swain

      The United Kingdom can generally be seen as a dependable defender of human rights and civil liberties. A particularly vibrant legal activist community is dedicated to protecting individual rights, and efforts to protect those rights are routinely made by both state and non-state actors. There are instances, though, in which the UK is found to violate the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and is faced with the decision of how best to implement the corresponding judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (hereafter ECtHR or the Court). The implementation of the ECtHR’s judgments can be a quick and...

    • Chapter 9 Politics, courts and society in the national implementation and practice of European Court of Human Rights case law
      (pp. 211-231)
      Dia Anagnostou

      Since the Second World War, and especially over the past twenty years, the evolution of the transnational human rights regime centred on the Convention has been one of the most remarkable institutional transformations in Europe. It embodies a highly successful transnational legal system with far-reaching consequences for European and national governance. In its genesis, the Convention regime was the creature of state governments, which also determined with their decision-making its institutional remoulding over time. At the same time, though, its evolution into a ‘constitutional instrument of European public order’ has been a multi-dimensional phenomenon. Its construction and operation has involved...

  8. List of European Court of Human Rights judgments and European Commission on Human Rights cases
    (pp. 232-237)
  9. Index
    (pp. 238-246)