Thursday, 19 November 2015

ECHR Readings

Please find below a selection of a number of books, articles and research papers on the ECHR which have been published in the past year (some of which I had overlooked earlier, more to follow in later posts). Enjoy reading!

The newest issue of the International Community Law Review (vol. 17, nos. 4-5, 2015) includes two ECHR-related articles:

* Marta Szuniewicz, 'Problems and Challenges of the ECHR’s Extraterritorial Application to Law-Enforcement Operations at Sea' 
* Katarzyna Urszula Gałka, 'The Jurisdiction Criterion in Article 1 of the ECHR and a Territorial State' 

Other recent journal articles:

* Adamantia Rachovitsa, 'Fragmentation of International Law Revisited: Insights, Good Practices, and Lessons to be Learned from the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights', Leiden Journal of International Law, vol. 28, no. 4 (2015) pp. 863-885:

This article discusses the contribution of the European Court of Human Rights to mitigating difficulties arising from the fragmentation of international law. It argues that the Court's case law provides insights and good practices to be followed. First, the article furnishes evidence that the Court has developed an autonomous and distinct interpretative principle to construe the European Convention on Human Rights by taking other norms of international law into account. Second, it offers a blueprint of the methodology that the Court employs when engaging with external norms in the interpretation process. It analyses the Court's approach to subtle contextual differences between similar or identical international norms and its position towards the requirements of Article 31(3)(c) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT). It concludes that international courts are developing innovative interpretative practices, which may not be strictly based on the letter of the VCLT.

* Alexandra Timmer, 'Judging Stereotypes: What the European Court of Human Rights Can Borrow from American and Canadian Equal Protection Law', American Journal of Comparative Law, vol. 63, no. 1 (2015) pp. 239-284:

The concept of stereotype is novel in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. The ECtHR has started to refer to stereotypes in several recent judgments concerning, notably, race and gender equality. In contrast, anti-stereotyping has long been a central feature of both American and Canadian equal protection law. Offering a comparison of the legal reasoning of the ECtHR and the U.S. and Canadian Supreme Courts, this Article uncovers both the pitfalls and the potential of the stereotype concept to advance transformative equality.

And a number of books and book chapters:

* Octavian Ichim, Just Satisfaction under the European Convention on Human Rights (Cambridge University Press):

How effective is the European Court of Human Rights in dispensing justice? With over 17,000 judgments handed down, it is undoubtedly the most prolific international court but is it the most efficient when compensating the victims of a violation? This crucial but often overlooked question is the focus of this important new monograph which gives a clear, comprehensive and convincing demonstration of the negative impact, in terms of unpredictability and legal uncertainty, of the discretion used by the Court when it comes to the regime of reparation. It reveals the adverse influence of such a high discretion on the quality of its rulings - ultimately on the coherence of the system and on the Court's authority, and makes suggestions for improvement.

The book by Mads Andenas and Eirik Bjorge, A Farewell to Fragmentation. Reassertion and Convergence in International Law (Cambridge University Press 2015) includes:

* Dean Spielmann, 'Fragmentation or partnership? The reception of ICJ case-law by the European Court of Human Rights'
* Magdalena Forowicz, 'Factors influencing the reception of international law in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights'

The most recent volume of the German Yearbook of International Law (vol. 57, 2014) has just been published and includes:

* Mart Susi, 'Implied Constitutional Competence of the European Court of Human Rights' 

Finally, a working paper on SSRN, which may be of interest to many readers:


There is widespread and growing mistrust of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the United Kingdom (UK). In response to what can be seen as the progressive ‘folk deviling’ of the ECtHR in the UK, the aim of this chapter is to explore how beliefs about the ECtHR are created and sustained. To achieve this aim, the chapter focuses attention on beliefs about the ECtHR that are expressed by members of the UK Parliament. Through an analysis of parliamentary debates, the chapter examines how parliamentarians discursively represent their beliefs about the ECtHR and how these beliefs come to achieve degrees of collective acceptance among MPs and Lords. As the analysis of parliamentary debates shows, the ECtHR is often depicted as a biased institution that poses a risk to the human rights of large sections of the UK population. If it is accepted that parliamentary discourse has an influence on wider public perceptions and opinions, then the beliefs expressed by parliamentarians that are outlined in this chapter should be of concern to anyone with an interest in encouraging a balanced and informed understanding of the ECtHR among the population of the UK.

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