IJ №2(30) 2019
The European Convention for Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms – a Constitution for Europe?

The full text of the article is available only in Russian.

Abstract

In the retrospective it is surprising how skeptical the text of the European Convention of Human Rights was seen when it was adopted in 1950. Despite this somewhat difficult start it developed into a comprehensive human rights protection instrument applicable to 47 European States and thus exceeded all expectations. This was due to favorable historical conditions, especially after the end of the Cold War in the 1990s. The Court’s jurisprudence has shown revolutionary tendencies in developing the Convention as a “living instrument” and adapting it to changing conditions, but at the same time granting a varying margin of appreciation to the Member States in specific areas. In many respects the Convention resembles a Constitution. The interpretation of human rights has an impact on State organization, especially on principles such as rule of law, democracy, social State and federalism. Nevertheless, the Convention is clearly not a full-fledged Constitution as detailed regulations on State administration are missing. Furthermore, the conflict about the “last word” between the European Court of Human Rights and national Constitutional Courts has not been solved and cannot be solved as the hierarchy of norms is determined differently in constitutional law and international law. As a consequence, the European Court of Human Rights cannot be considered to be a constitutional court; it is rather a court promoting a model of a specific social contract. At present time, signs of crisis of this specific model cannot be overlooked; some political and legal problems that had been discussed when drafting the Convention seem to re-emerge. The need for a common value codex for Europe is, however, as great now as it was when the Convention mechanism was set up.

About the author:
Angelika Nußberger – Vice-President, European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France; Professor, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

Citation: Nußberger A. (2019) Evropeyskaya Konventsiya o zashchite prav cheloveka i osnovnykh svobod – Konstitutsiya dlya Evropy? [The European Convention for Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms – a Constitution for Europe?]. Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol.9, no.2, pp.3–19. (In Russian).

References:

Asche J. (2018) Die Margin of Appreciation, Berlin; Heidelberg: Springer.

Bates E. (2010) The Evolution of the European Convention on Human Rights: From its Inception to the Creation of a Permanent Court of Human Rights, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Besson S. (2012) The Extraterritoriality of the European Convention on Human Rights: Why Human Rights Depend on Jurisdiction and What Jurisdiction Amounts to. Leiden Journal of International Law, vol.25, no.4, pp.857–884.

Bhuta N. (ed.) (2016) The Frontiers of Human Rights: Extraterritoriality and its Challenges, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Biaggini G. (2014) Einige Gedanken zum interjudikativen Dialog aus rechtswissenschaftlicher Sicht. Europäische Grundrechte Zeitschrift (EuGRZ), vol.41, no.1–5, pp.29–30.

Binder C. (2015) The Concept of Margin of Appreciation. Journal für Rechtspolitik (JRP), vol.23, no.1, pp.56–66.

Bratza N. (2014) Living instrument or dead letter – the future of the European Convention on Human Rights. European Human Rights Law Review, no.2, pp.116–128.

Breuer M. (ed.) (2019, forthcoming) Principled Resistance Against ECtHR Judgments – A New Paradigm? Berlin; Heidelberg: Springer.

Dothan S. (2018) Judicial Deference Allows European Consensus to Emerge. Chicago Journal of International Law, vol.18, no.2, pp.393–419.

Dröge C. (2003) Positive Verpflichtungen der Staaten der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention, Berlin; Heildelberg: Springer.

Dzehtsiarou K. (2015) European Consensus and the Legitimacy of the European Court of Human Rights, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Fleig-Goldstein R.M. (2017) The Russian Constitutional Court versus the European Court of Human Rights: How the Strasbourg Court Should Respond to Russia’s Refusal to Execute ECtHR Judgments. Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, vol.56, no.1, pp.172–218.

Frowein J.A. (1984) European Integration Through Fundamental Rights. Michigan Journal of Law Reform, vol.18, no.1, pp.5–27.

Glendon M.A. (2001) A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, New York: Random House.

Greer S. (2010) The Interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights: Universal Principle or Margin of Appreciation? UCL Human Rights Review, vol.3, pp.1–14.

Grimm D. (2017) Europa: Ja – aber welches? In: Rüttgers J., Decker F. (eds.) Europas Ende, Europas Anfang: Neue Perspektiven für die Europäische Union, Frankfurt am Main: Campus, pp.31–48.

Hartwig M. (2017) Vom Dialog zum Disput?: Verfassungsrecht vs. Europäische Menschenrechtskonvention – Der Fall der Russländischen Föderation. Europäische Grundrechte Zeitschrift (EuGRZ), vol.44, no.1–6, pp.1–22.

Henne Th., Riedlinger A. (eds.) (2005) Das Lüth-Urteil aus (rechts-)historischer Sicht: die Konflikte um Veit Harlan und die Grundrechtsjudikatur des Bundesverfassungsgerichts, Berlin: BWV Berliner Wissenschaftsverlag.

Jankowska-Gilberg M. (2008) Extraterritorialität der Menschenrechte, Baden-Baden: Nomos.

Keller H., Kühne D. (2016) Zur Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte. Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (ZaöRV), vol.76, no.2, pp.245–307.

Keller H., Walter R. (fortncoming) The Bell of Görgülü Can’t Be Unrung – Can it?

Klatt M. (2011) Positive Obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (ZaöRV), vol.71, pp.691–718.

Kleinlein Th. (2017) Consensus and Contestability: The ECtHR and the Combined Potential of European Consensus and Procedural Rationality Control. European Journal of International Law, vol.28, no.3, pp.871–893.

Krieger H. (2014) Positive Verpflichtungen unter der EMRK: Unentbehrliches Element einer gemeineuropäischen Grundrechtsdogmatik, leeres Versprechen oder Grenze der Justiziabilität? Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (ZaöRV), vol.74, pp.187–214.

Lauterpacht H. (1945) An International Bill of the Rights of Man, New York: Columbia University Press.

Legg A. (2012) The Margin of Appreciation in International Human Rights Law: Deference and Proportionality, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Letsas G. (2018) The Margin of Appreciation Revisited: A Response to Folesdal. In: Etinson A. (ed.) Human Rights: Moral or Political? Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.295–312.

López Guerra L. (2017) Dialogues between the Strasbourg Court and National Courts. In: Müller A. (ed.) Judicial Dialogue and Human Rights, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.401–409.

MacMillan M. (2003) Peacemakers. Six Months that Changed the World, London: John Murray.

Malksöö L. (2016) Russia’s Constitutional Court Defies the European Court of Human Rights: Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation Judgment of 14 July 2015, No.21-П/2015. European Constitutional Law Review (ECLR), vol.12, no.2, pp.377–395.

Milanovic M. (2008) From Compromise to Principle: Clarifying the Concept of State Jurisdiction in Human Rights Treaties. Human Rights Law Review (HRLR), vol.8, no.3, pp.411–448.

Milanovic M. (2011) Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Milanovic M., Papic T. (2018) The Applicability of the ECHR in Contested Territories. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, vol.67, no.4, pp.779–800.

Mowbray A. (2004) The Development of Positive Obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights by the European Court of Human Rights, Oxford: Hart Publishing.

Moyn S. (2012) The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History, Cambridge, MA; London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Nußberger A. (2012) Auf der Suche nach einem europäischen Konsens – zur Rechtsprechung des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte. Zeitschrift für rechtswissenschaftliche Forschung (ReWiss), no.2, pp.197–211.

Nußberger A. (2012) The Concept of “Jurisdiction” in the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. Current Legal Problems (CLP), vol.65, no.1, pp.241–268.

Nußberger A. (2017) Procedural Review by the ECHR: View from the Court. In: Gerards J., Brems E. (eds.) Procedural Review in European Fundamental Rights Cases, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.161–176.

Nußberger A. (2017) The European Court of Human Rights and rule of law – a tale of hopes and disillusions. In: Zubik M. (ed.) Human Rights in Contemporary World: Essays in Honour of Professor Leszek Garlicki, Warszawa: Wydawnitwo Sejmowe, pp.162–173.

Nußberger A. (2019, forthcoming) From high hopes to scepticism? Human rights protection and rule of law in Europe in an ever more hostile environment. In: Krieger H., Nolte G., Zimmermann A. (eds.) The International Rule of Law: Rise or Decline?, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Popelier P., Lambrecht S., Lemmens K. (eds.) (2016) Criticism of the European Court of Human Rights: Shifting the Convention System: Counter-dynamics at the National and EU Level, Cambridge: Intersentia.

Rozakis Ch. (2011) Through the Looking Glass: An “Insiders”’s View of the Margin of Appreciation. In: Titiun P. (ed.) Mélanges en l’honneur de Jean-Paul Costa: La conscience de droits, Paris: Dalloz, pp.527–537.

Schaefer J.-P. (2017) Das Parteiverbot im Lichte der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention. Europarecht (EuR), vol.52, no.1, pp.80–106.

Sloterdijk P. (2016) Zorn und Zeit: Politisch-psychologischer Versuch, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.

Spano R. (2015) The European Court of Human Rights and National Courts: A Constructive Conversation or a Dialogue of Disrespect? Nordic Journal of Human Rights, vol.33, no.1, pp.1–10.

Spano R. (2018) The Future of the European Court of Human Rights – Subsidiarity, Process-Based Review and the Rule of Law. Human Rights Law Review, vol.18, no.3, pp.473–494.

Stone-Sweet A., Keller H. (2008) The reception of the ECHR in National Legal Orders. In: Stone-Sweet A., Keller H. (eds.) A Europe of Rights: The Impact of the ECHR on National Legal Systems, Oxford: Oxford University press, pp.3–28.

Stoyanova V. (2018) The Disjunctive Structure of Positive Rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. Nordic Journal of International Law (NJIL), vol.87, no.3, pp.344–392.

Terhechte J.Ph. (2011) Konstitutionalisierung und Normativität der europäischen Grundrechte, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

Tomuschat Ch. (2003) Individueller Rechtsschutz – das Herzstück des “ordre public européen” nach der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention. Europäische Grundrechte Zeitschrift (EuGRZ), vol.30, pp.95–100.

Von Unger-Sternberg A. (2013) Die Konsensmethode des EGMR: Eine kritische Bewertung mit Blick auf das völkerrechtliche Konsens- und das innerstaatliche Demokratieprinzip. Archiv des Völkerrechts (AVR), vol.51, no.3, pp.312–338.

Voßkuhle A. (2010) Der Europäische Verfassungsgerichtsverbund. Neue Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsrecht (NVwZ), pp.1–8.

Voßkuhle A. (2015) Europa als Rechtsgemeinschaft?!: Gefährdungen und Herausforderungen. In: Stock G., Markschies Ch., Hauer S. (eds.) Zukunftsort: EUROPA, Berlin: De Gruyter, pp.135–148.

Walter Ch. (1999) Die Europäische Menschenrechtskonvention als Konstitutionalisierungs-Prozeß. Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (ZaöRV), vol.59, pp.961–983.

Walter Ch. (2015) Der Internationale Menschenrechtsschutz zwischen Konstitutionalisierung und Fragmentierung. Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (ZaöRV), vol.75, pp.753–770.

Xenos D. (2013) The Positive Obligations of the State under the European Convention of Human Rights, London; New York: Routledge.

Issue articles