Long past are the days when the ECHR was only of interest to legal scholars. A recent book by researcher Alain Zysset, a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy, with both a background in international politics and philosophy - in addition to law - is a case in point. He has published the book 'The ECHR and Human Rights Theory. Reconciling the Moral and the Political Conceptions' with Routledge Publishers. Zysset is also a postdoctoral fellow in the Pluricourts project of the University of Oslo. This is the book's abstract:
'The European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) has been relatively neglected in the field of normative human rights theory. This book aims to bridge the gap between human rights theory and the practice of the ECHR. In order to do so, it tests the two overarching approaches in human rights theory literature: the ethical and the political, against the practice of the ECHR ‘system’. The book also addresses the history of the ECHR and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) as an international legal and political institution.
The book offers a democratic defence of the authority of the ECtHR. It illustrates how a conception of democracy – more specifically, the egalitarian argument for democracy developed by Thomas Christiano on the domestic level – can illuminate the reasoning of the Court, including the allocation of the margin of appreciation on a significant number of issues. Alain Zysset argues that the justification of the authority of the ECtHR – its prominent status in the domestic legal orders – reinforces the democratic process within States Parties, thereby consolidating our status as political equals in those legal and political orders.'