Friday, 20 December 2013

Conference on Shifting Centres of Gravity in European Human Rights Protection

I am happy to announce a conference that the University of Iceland Human Rights Institute is organising on 6 and 7 March 2014 in Reyjkjavik. The conference, entitled 'Shifting Centres of Gravity in European Human Rights Protection' is organised by esteemed colleague Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir. This is the idea of the conference:

The protection of human rights in Europe is at crossroads. The European Union (EU) is increasingly prioritising fundamental rights, for example by giving the Charter of Fundamental Rights the status of primary law and through the treaty-based obligation of accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Accession, once it takes place, expands the mandate of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and is likely to bring about fundamental structural changes to the system of human rights protection in Europe, as decisions of the ECtHR will be binding on the EU and its courts. However, pulling in a somewhat different direction than developments in EU law, the political momentum for bringing the responsibility for the protection of ECHR rights ‘home’ to the member states has been growing ever stronger. This repositioning of the centre of gravity of human rights protection is beginning to take shape in two new Protocols to the ECHR, which emphasise the principle of subsidiarity and the margin of appreciation enjoyed by the member states (Protocol No. 15), and introduce a preliminary reference procedure under the ECHR (Protocol No. 16). Finally, and in light of the crisis created by the overwhelming case-load of the ECtHR, the Brighton Declaration of 2010 has put the long-term review of the Court’s fundamental nature and role on the agenda before the end of 2019. Overall, therefore, the future of human rights in Europe faces major structural changes which could have significant consequences for access to justice and the quality of protection provided to victims of human rights violations. 

This conference will explore these themes from the perspective that current developments call for a critical assessment of classical approaches to the three-dimensional relationship between the ECHR, EU law and national law; of the theories and tools utilised to navigate this relationship; and of the effects current developments may have on victims and vulnerable groups.
Registration can be done here. The full programme is as follows and can be found in PDF here:

Day 1 - Thursday 6 March 2014
08:30-09:00 Registration
09:00-09:15 Opening of the conference
09:15-12:15 The three-dimensional relationship between the ECHR, EU law and domestic law: Coexistence and cross-fertilisation in the context of recent developments - Chair: Dr. Antoine Buyse, Associate Professor, Utrecht University
09:15-09:45 Professor Davíð Þór Björgvinsson, University of Copenhagen, former judge at the European Court of Human Rights
Title TBC (The ECHR perspective on coexistence and cross-fertilisation)
9:45-10:15 Professor Xavier Groussot, Lund University
Title TBC (The EU perspective on coexistence and cross-fertilisation)
10:15-10:35 Coffee break
10:35-11:05 Dr. Giuseppe Martinico, Centro de Estudios Politicos y Constitucionales, Madrid
Title: National judges between EU law and the ECHR: The legacy of Kamberaj
11:05-11:35 Professor Björg Thorarensen, University of Iceland
Title TBC (Protocol 16 ECHR)
11:35-12:15 Questions and panel discussion
12:15-13:30 Lunch at the University cafeteria
13:30-16:30 Subsidiarity and the margin of appreciation: In need of some re-thinking? - Chair: Professor Björg Thorarensen, University of Iceland
13:30-14:00 Professor Andreas Føllesdal, Oslo University
Title TBC (Subsidiarity)
14:00-14:30 Professor Geir Ulfstein, Oslo University
Title TBC (Subsidiarity)
14:30-14:50 Coffee break
14:50-15:20 Professor Niamh Nic Shuibhne, University of Edinburgh
Title TBC (The margin of appreciation in EU fundamental rights jurisprudence)
15:20-15:50 Dr. Basak Cali, Senior lecturer, University College London
Title TBC (ECHR margin of appreciation - ‘responsible courts doctrine’)
15:50-16:20 Professor Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir and Dóra Guðmundsdóttir, adjunct lecturer,
University of Iceland
Title: Speaking the same language? Comparing margins of appreciation at
the ECtHR and the ECJ
16:20-17:00 Questions and panel discussion
19:00 Conference dinner at Snaps restaurant

Day 2 - Friday 7 March 2014

9:15-12:15 Access to justice and effectiveness of protection: the effects of current
developments on victims and vulnerable groups - Chair: Professor Oddný Mjöll Arnardóttir, University of Iceland
09:15-9:45 Professor Philip Leach, Middlesex University
Title TBC (Access to justice and effectiveness of protection)
09:45-10:15 Dr. Antoine Buyse, Associate Professor, Utrecht University
Title: Flying or landing? The future position of the pilot judgment procedure
in the changing European human rights architecture.
10:15-11:35 Coffee break
10:34-11:05 Lorna McGregor, Reader, University of Essex
Title TBC (Alternative dispute resolution at the ECtHR and ECJ)
11:05-11:35 Dr. Alexandra Timmer, researcher, Utrecht University
Title TBC (Vulnerable groups)
11:35-12:15 Questions and panel discussion
12:15-12:30 Closing of the Conference

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