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The European Convention of Human Rights is an expansion of the United Nations General
Assembly's Universal Declaration of Human Rights ~an enhancement to it and all others –in its
Court anyone anywhere may sue any European government with the ultimate sanction for
non-compliance of expulsion.
All 47 countries of the continent of Europe are bound by this protocol, the Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, commonly referred to as the
European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) -with legal effect on still more countries on
other continents.
It was introduced by Europe and influenced by the European Union peoples' decision to make
themselves extinct as nations to become a single nation as a ‘United States of Europe'.
After the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 the Council of Europe in 1954
enhanced that with the European Convention of Human Rights even more to protect against
abuse of any person or group of persons anywhere by any European person or government
-prohibiting also co-operation by commission or omission contrary to the letter or the spirit of
the Convention ~of which the essence is human dignity.
(The Council of Europe was set up in 1949 following Briand's proposals in 1930 for the
integration of Europe as envisioned, e.g., by Victor Hugo and called ‘É tats-Unis d'Europe'
[The United States of Europe -‘U.S.E'], a considerably established future name for the
European Union [which in 2007 a British-French-German amendment as a Reform Treaty has
removed reference to most state-like terminology and symbols of, e.g., the word ‘constitution',
its flag and anthem]).
The Convention is Europe's peoples' decision on the lines pursued by John Locke four
centuries ago to extend the operation of human rights from their present form as civil liberties
with state discretion to civil rights incorporated rather like the Magna Carta into laws at state
level and directly binding on governments.
The European Convention of Human Rights is unique. It not a pressure group as the Asian
Human Rights Commission; neither as the African Charter on Human & People's Rights and
the African Court of Justice, nor as the American Convention on Human Rights, nor as the
United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil
& Political Rights, does it limit complaints of specific human rights to violations of the citizens
of and within the borders of and by a member state with the specific agreement of both sides
with hearings in closed meetings.
The European Convention's member states under Protocol 11 of 1998 may not opt out of
agreeing to any state's or body's or person's direct and public access and evidence and
argument for a desired remedy against any member state including itself for any act or
omission or co-operation with any state or body or person anywhere in breach of the
Convention violating any right of anyone anywhere (including in respect of rights minor by
comparison, e.g., state legal aid to sue for defamation of character by another individual), to
the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) -and are bound by the Court's judgements, with
a duty also to accordingly amend their laws.
The European Convention of Human Rights sets out peoples' freedoms and rights to be
commonly enjoyed by the individual persons in the world (Article 1) in the acts or omissions of
its 47 countries. These include the right to life and prohibition of capital punishment, prohibition
of extradition by any European government of anyone to a country that has not formally by
legislation abolished the death penalty and life imprisonment without parole and in state

security courts in any capacity the involvement of the military if it might be faced, to fair civil
and criminal public court hearings, right to privacy of one's family life and home and
communications -and that one shall enjoy these freedoms and rights, with more set out in its
Articles, without discrimination on grounds of, e.g., race, gender, religion, nationality, political
or other opinion held or expressed.
The Convention in effect is binding on the member states ~each has undertaken (with judicial
and political Russian moratorium not to use capital punishment) to abide under Article 46 (1) &
(2) by the final judgements of the European Court of Human Rights supervised in their
execution by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, with the ultimate sanction of
There is an expectation that not only individuals but each member government itself also will
bring before the European Court of Human Rights a signatory government to the Convention
that fails in respect of these freedoms and rights.
(While governments are considered rarely to have lived up to that expectation and proposals in
Protocol 14 [pending ratification] are considered capable of limiting individual redress for
human rights violations, the proposals include empowering of a Committee of Ministers of the
Council of Europe [without effect on states who have not yet ratified the convention in full, e.g.,
Britain's position on Article 4 of Protocol 7 of the Convention in respect of double jeopardy] to
bring before the Court any governments that refuse to enforce any judgements against
Where a member state has incorporated the Convention into its laws (e.g., Britain's Human
Rights Act 1998 making its courts [as public bodies] bound by the Convention) its national
courts must operate as though they were local branches of (with a right on one to directly
challenge them at) the European Court of Human Rights and declare ‘not law, not of legal
effect' any national laws involved but incompatible with the Convention.
In the case of the European Union there is an expectation to seek to centralise and equalise
the laws and the legal standards in respect of all of the Articles of the European Convention on
Human Rights, formally adopting by 2017 also the European Union Charter of Fundamental
Rights (EUCFR), to be followed by the European Union's Court of Justice (ECJ) -where
disagreed with (by the European Union Reform Treaty amendment in 2007 by British-FrenchGerman governments with an express right [Articles 1 & 2] on the part of the United Kingdom
not to comply) possibly tolerably not bindingly.
(In line with this expectation has come about through the European Union Council, e.g., the
repeal of the Romanian Penal Code's Article 200 [public manifestations of homosexuality], and
in the course of the processing of its application to join it the formal abolishing in Turkey of the
death penalty.)
(The European Convention itself also enjoys indirect but effective influence in the upholding of
those rights, and, e.g., in the constitutional Monarchies of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand
[each with also a British Governor-General], and where in the British Commonwealth appeal
lies to the British Monarch the United Kingdom's membership of the Convention would
normally be a consideration and indeed the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has been
responsible, e.g., for blocking death-sentences passed by the courts in Trinidad & Tobago.) In
1950 the peoples of the signatory countries to the Convention established in Europe the
European Court of Human Rights which in 1998 was instituted permanently with full-time
judges equal to the number of the signatory countries elected by the Parliamentary Assembly
of the Council of Europe (PACE) but with no nationality requirement (i.e., not as
representatives of member countries -e.g., in respect of Liechtenstein a Swiss national) and

considered impartial (also not having disregarded criticism of undue consideration for some
states' preferences in respect of, e.g., family re-unification [Article 8] –although it is difficult to
see how in applying the Convention it has not been regarded incompatible with the spirit of it
where the state represents the society such state interest as by prosecution appeals once
those representing the society at trial level by acquittal have expressed the end of their
interest in the mater, or such state interest as increase of sentence which only comes into play
upon the convict's exercise of a right given by the society by his own appeal.).
The Court rules on such issues as below:Civil Law: Sex discrimination also in the case of immigrants breaches Article 14, Abdulaziz -vUK 1985… Denial of right to family reunification Article 8 breach, ?en -v- the Netherlands
2001… Right to life in Article 2 (1) does not apply to fetus as much as to pregnant
woman, Paton -v- UK 1980… Lack of civil legal aid (for, e.g., libel) limits the right to fair trial
and freedom of expression under Articles 6 & 10, Steele -v- UK 2005… Article 6 breach of
Employment Appeal Tribunal who took nine years to decide a case, Darnell -v- United
Kingdom 1993...
Criminal Law: Under Article 6 not fair to try children in adult courts, Bulger & Venables -v- UK
1999... Convict entitled to privacy in dealings with lawyer, Golder -v- UK 1975... Unlawful to
beat prisoners, Ireland -v- UK, 1978… Discretionary interception of telephone communications
breached Article 8, Malone -v- UK 1984… Requiring disclosure of journalistic source beached
Article 10, Goodwin -v- UK 1996… Detention with delay in bringing suspect before judge in
Brogan -v- UK 1998 beached Article 5 -which Britain has since opted out of…
Application of Convention: Human dignity is immanent in private life [Article 8] which
includes physical and psychological integrity, Botta -v- Italy 1998… It’s "the very essence of
the Convention", Pretty -v- UK 2002… Prohibition of discrimination (Article 14) applies to all of
the Articles of the Convention, Airey -v- Ireland 1979… Application of national law must not
negatively affect in circumstance of vulnerability, e.g., re. the right to remain silent (Article 6 [1])
by compelling a convict to disclose information -or, e.g., re. the right to privacy (Article 8) by
disproportionate search of one's premises, Funke -v- France 1998… A State's responsibility
extends not only to individuals also outside its territory, nor only to acts or omissions of its own,
but anywhere where in the eyes of the Convention in practice it has control, Cyprus -v- Turkey
2001… This responsibility exists also where a State has no control over matters which is
wholly in control of another State but may be involved, e.g., re. extraditing to a jurisdiction
where a possibility is foreseeable of treatment incompatible with the general spirit of the
Convention, Soering -v- UK 1989...
Reparation: State laws must allow for and make reparation which is not partial and which
does not fall short of being an effective remedy (Article 13) and this applies also to claims with
a clearly casual connection to the violation, Mikheyev -v- Russia 2006… Just satisfaction
(Article 41) includes compensation for loss of future earnings, Barberà -v- Spain 1994… There
may be damages also for distress suffered and psychological trauma, M.C. -v- Bulgaria
2003… Allegations may imply remedies for the benefit of relatives,Kaya -v- Turkey
2000. (Legal costs are recoverable if they relate to violation found [Beyeler -v- Italy 2002], may
cover domestic court costs [Kyprianou -v- Cyprus 2005], for non-pecuniary compensation
there must be ‘real loos of opportunity' [Ezeh -v- UK 2004] ~cost & compensation calculation is
in EuroDolar convertible to complainant's currency and include any taxes payable -default
interest is at the European Central Bank lending rate plus 3%.)
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg previously had a two-tier structure and
involved the European Commission on Human Rights set up in 1954, but since 1998 it
operates as a single court with a Grand Chamber composed of 17 members -a President and

a Vice-President and the 5 Section Presidents (all for a term in such office of 3 years) and 10
justices from its gender and geographic balanced 5 Sections (each of which has 6 under its
President) who rotate 9 monthly, the Court's members sitting full-time each with a 6 year term
of office, dismissable with two-thirds majority vote if and fails to meet the required criteria.
The procedure of the European Court of Human Rights has been to ascertain complaints by 3
judges (who only unanimously may reject them) to be put before 7, if precedent may be
departed from or appealed 17, judges to be heard.
(Protocol 14 of the Convention awaiting ratification proposes admissibility of cases to be
decided by a single judge instead of 3, and in cases arising from failure of a member state to
amend its laws in line with an earlier judgement by 3 judges instead of 7 -and interpretation by
the Court where it may help enable a government to determine how best accordingly to amend
its laws ~also [as favoured on grounds of expediency by Britain and France and supported by
Germany -more on the lines of the American and UN Conventions] less access by individual
persons on significance basis at admissibility stage and un-enforcing state representation at
judicial level.)
(The Holy Sea has Observer status [which also the USA has been given -together with
Canada, Mexico and Japan] and membership status is enjoyed by all of the countries of
Europe, i.e.: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina,
Britain, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France,
Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal,
Romania, Russia, San Marine, Serbia & Montenegro, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine –Belarus being a candidate, Kazakhstan having received
confirmation that may apply.)
With such a multitude of member states of the European Convention the European Court of
Human Rights is charged with the duty to reflect the common views and the shared values in
the Convention as are held by and are the united will of the peoples of Europe.