The book edited by Katrien Meeuwissen and Jan Wouters (both at Leuven University), entitled National Human Rights Institutions in Europe Comparative, European and International Perspectives has now been published. It includes my chapter 'The Court’s Ears and Arms: National Human Rights Institutions and the European Court of Human Rights'. This is the abstract of that contribution:
This book chapter explores the ways through which human rights protection in the European system can be improved by national human rights institutions (NHRIs). NHRIs can play a key role in strengthening the supervision and implementation of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) before, during and after the procedure in Strasbourg. In the first phase, NHRIs can help to better inform the public about the Convention system, specifically about the admissibility criteria, and give advice to potential applicants. During the proceedings before the European Court, NHRIs can bring in an independent national perspective - or as a group of NHRIs, a comparative European perspective - by way of a third party intervention. Finally, once the Court has delivered its judgment, NHRIs can facilitate implementation nationally through their advisory, agenda-setting and watchdog functions. In doing so, NHRIs can be highly important channels of information from the national level to the European Court and vice versa.