Convention reform weakens ECtHR

Civil Rights Defenders has signed the joint statement on strengthening the protection of human rights in Europe. This initiative is a reaction to some of the proposed changes of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to reduce the case burden of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

– It is not clear that this proposal would reduce the case burden of the court. We disagree with the idea of including the principle of “states’ margin of appreciation” which could limit the scope of the human rights protection. Therefore we believe that no further changes should be adopted before we have clear evidence of their expected impact, and until previously-approved reforms have been fully implemented and adequately resourced, said Cecilia Tengroth, Programme Director at Civil Rights Defenders.

The proposed reforms are currently being negotiated by member states of the Council of Europe and will be discussed at the Council of Ministers in Brighton, April 19-20.

Although the draft contains important recommendations to strengthen domestic implementation of the ECHR, the reforms will lead to a weakening of the Court’s authority. This specifically relates to the proposed introduction of new admissibility criteria and formalized inclusion of the principle of “margin of appreciation”.

Civil Rights Defenders will communicate our view on the draft declaration to the Swedish government, and to the governments in the countries where we are active, before the up coming Brighton meeting.

Read the statement in full text here. 

Categories: Statements.
Tags: Cecilia Tengroth, European Convention on Human Rights, and European Court of Human Rights.
Regions: Sweden.