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European Court of Human Rights

  • Luzius Wildhaber

The aim of the European Court of Human Rights is to bring about a situation in which individuals are able to get effective guarantees of their rights within their national legal systems. With this in mind, the author reviews some of the recent developments in cases before the court relating to evolutionary interpretation of the provisions of the convention, the role of the separation of powers in ensuring the protection of freedoms under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the notion of human dignity within the convention framework. The author also considers the growing case load before the court and the need for reform and concludes by pointing out that the European system is the most effective international system yet for securing human rights protection.


La Cour européenne des droits de l’homme a pour but de créer une situation qui permette aux individus d’obtenir la protection réelle de leurs droits dans leurs systèmes juridiques nationaux. Partant de là, l’auteur passe en revue l’évolution du droit dans la jurisprudence récente de cette Cour en matière de l’interprétation des dispositions de la Convention, du rôle du partage des pouvoirs en matière de la protection des libertés garanties par la Convention et de la notion de la dignité humaine dans le cadre de la Convention. L’auteur constate le volume croissant de dossiers devant la Cour et le besoin d’une réforme, puis conclut que le système européen est le système international le plus efWcace à ce jour pour assurer la protection des droits de la personne.

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1 Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, November 4, 1950, E.T.S. No.005 (entered into force September 3, 1953) [hereinafter Human Rights Convention].

2 Z. and Others v. United Kingdom, October 5, 2001, Eur. Ct. H.R. at para. 103 (2001-V).

3 See the Collected Edition of the “Travaux Préparatoires” of the European Convention on Human Rights, vol. 2 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1975) at 485 and 490; and vol. 3 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1976) at 651.

4 Kudᐃ av. Poland, October 26, 2000, Eur. Ct. H.R. at para. 152 (2000-XI).

5 Tyrer v. United Kingdom, April 25, 1978, Eur. Ct. H.R. (Series A No. 26) at 31.

6 Marckx v. Belgium, June 13, 1979, Eur. Ct. H.R. (Series A No. 31).

7 Ibid. at para. 31.

8 X and Y v. Netherlands, March 26, 2000, Eur. Ct. H.R. (Series A No. 91) at para. 23.

9 B. v. France, March 25, 199g, Eur. Ct. H.R. (Series A No. 232-C).

10 Rees v. United Kingdom, October 17, 1986, Eur. Ct. H.R. (Series A No. 106); Cossey v. United Kingdom, September 27, 1990, Eur. Ct. H.R. (Series A No. 184); ShefWeld and Horsham v. United Kingdom, July 30, 1998, Eur. Ct. H.R. (1998-V) [hereinafter ShefWeld].

11 See dissenting opinion ofJudge van Dijk in ShefWeld, supra note 10.

12 ShefWeld, supra note 10 at para. 55.

13 Goodwin v. United Kingdom, July 11, 2002, Eur. Ct. H.R. at 447 (2002).

14 Stafford v. United Kingdom, May 28, 2002, Eur. Ct. H.R. (2002-IV).

15 Wynne v. United Kingdom, July 18, 1994, Eur. Ct. H.R. (Series A No. 294-A).

16 Benjamin and Wilson v. United Kingdom, September 9, 2002 .

17 Sovtransavtov. Ukraine, July 25, 2002, no 48553/99, Eur. Ct. H.R. (2002-VII).

18 Kalashnikov v. Russia, July 15 2002, no. 47095/99, Eur. Ct. H.R. (2001-VI) [hereinafter Kalashnikov].

19 Pretty v. United Kingdom, July 29, 2002, no. 2346/02,Eur. Ct. H.R. (2002-VII).

20 See Wildhaber, Luzius, “A Constitutional Future for the European Court of Human Rights?” (2002) 23 H.R.L.J. 161–65.

21 See Botazzi v. Italy, July 28, 1999, Eur. Ct. H.R. (1999-V).

22 The Wrst time this formula was used was in Golderv. United Kingdom, February 21, 1975, Eur. Ct. H.R. (Series A No. 18) It was recently conWrmed in Kingsley v. United Kingdom, May 28, 2002, Eur. Ct. H.R. at 177 (2002), no. 36605/97 Eur. Ct. H.R. (2000-IV).

23 Kalashnikov, supra note 18 .

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Canadian Yearbook of International Law/Annuaire canadien de droit international
  • ISSN: 0069-0058
  • EISSN: 1925-0169
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-yearbook-of-international-law-annuaire-canadien-de-droit-international
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