Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Book on ECHR Case Files

In the same theme of last week's book announcement, another recent book also offers practical insights on how to conduct a case, whether as applicant or third party intervener. Lize Glas (Radboud University Nijmegen) has published ECHR Case Files.The case files of the lawyer and of the intervener before the European Court of Human Rights with Ars Aequi publishers. 

Using two concrete cases - Jaloud v. the Netherlands and S.A.S. v. France - the book takes the reader through all stages of a procedure, explaining how to use and submit the various documents necessary in a case. A very useful how-to book. This is the abstract:

'Ars Aequi Procesdossiers (case files) are written primarily to give the reader insight into different legal procedures. Relying on real case files, it is explained step by step how an actual procedure develops. The Ars Aequi Procesdossiers contain original procedural documents which, together with the accompanying text, draw the reader’s attention to the main features of the relevant laws. In this way, the material is brought to life.   

This volume describes the application and intervention procedure before the European Court of Human Rights. Prior to presenting the case files, the Court’s organisation and procedure is introduced and the rules applicable to the application and intervention procedure are described in some detail. The documents making up the case files include correspondence of the applicant, the intervener and the Court, as well as decisions, judgments and related procedural documents. The documents are preceded by a short introduction explaining to which stage of the procedure a document belongs.'

Friday, 15 September 2017

New Edition of Taking a Case to the ECtHR

This Summer, Oxford University Press has released the fourth and revised edition of Taking A Case to the European Court of Human Rights, the much appreciated handbook written by professor and practitioner Philip Leach (Middlesex University and European Human Rights Advocacy Centre). It covers both all phases of Strasbourg proceedings, from lodging an application to the enforcement of judgments. It covers all the key reforms (both those instituted and those pending) since the last edition of 2011. Through its index, its table of cases and its clear and logical structure, the book is an excellent and very up-to-date way into the judicial practice and case-law of the Court. in doing so it is both a how-to-do for practitioners as well as a thorough introduction to the system for students and researchers. Congrats, Philip! This is the abstract:

'This book provides comprehensive coverage of the law and procedure of the European Court of Human Rights. It incorporates a step-by-step approach to the litigation process, covering areas such as lodging the initial application, seeking priority treatment, friendly settlement, the pilot judgment procedure, just satisfaction, enforcement of judgments, and Grand Chamber referrals.

This new edition has been fully revised to take account of the latest developments in the Court's practice since 2010, including: the introduction (in 2014) of a mandatory application form; the updated Court Rules and practice directions; a more expansive approach to interim measures; the application of the 'no significant disadvantage' admissibility test and further applications of the exhaustion of domestic remedies rule and the six months' time limit; the steep rise in the use of unilateral declarations in striking cases out; developments in the use of 'Article 46' and pilot judgments; and the more extensive application of non-pecuniary measures of redress (including reinstatement to employment, disclosure of information and the protection of witnesses).

This edition includes an expanded and up-to-date article-by-article commentary on the substantive law of the European Convention. Issues covered by the recent case-law include secret rendition, restrictions on in vitro fertilization, medical mistreatment, the treatment of migrants at sea and asylum procedures, states' extra-territorial jurisdiction, same-sex partnerships, and discrimination. There is new law on the rights of suspects, defendants and life sentence prisoners, and the duties owed to the victims of domestic violence, domestic servitude, and human trafficking. With such vast coverage and accessibility, this book is indispensable for anyone practising in this field.'

Monday, 4 September 2017

New Book on Third Party Interventions

Third party interventions are a key way for the European Court of Human Rights to receive information beyond the input it receives from the parties in the procedure (applicant and state). How influential such interventions actually are was until now a matter of educated guesses for Strasbourg Court watchers. But now, there is a study which may shed some empirical light on the issue. Nicole Bürli (currently human rights adviser with the World Organisation Against Torture) has just published Third-Party Interventions before the European Court of Human Rights with Intersentia. As a thorough and systematic overview, it offers great insights in how such interventions have worked in practice and how different types of interventions should be distinguished. This is the outline of the book:

'Over the past decades the European Court of Human Rights has been increasingly engaged in constitutional decision-making. In this time the Court has decided whether abortion, assisted suicide, and surrogate motherhood are human rights. The Court’s judgments therefore do not just affect the parties to a particular case, but individuals, other member states, and often European society at large. Unsurprisingly, a variety of entities such as non-governmental organisations, try to participate in the Court’s proceedings as third-party interveners. Acknowledging a certain public interest in its decision-making, the Court accepted the first intervention in 1979. Since that time, interventions by individuals, member states and non-governmental organisations have increased. Yet despite this long-standing practice, third-party interventions have never been fully theorised. 

Third-Party Interventions before the European Court of Human Rights is the first comprehensive and empirical study on third-party interventions before an international court. Analysing all cases between 1979 and 2016 to which an intervention was made the book explores their potential influence on the reasoning and decision-making of the Court. It further argues that there are three different type of intervention playing different roles in the administration of justice: amicus curiae interventions by organisations with a virtual interest in the case which strengthen the Court’s legitimacy in its democratic environment; member state interventions reinforcing state sovereignty; and actual third-party interventions by individuals who are involved in the facts of a case and who are protecting their own legal interests. As a consequence, the book makes a plea for applying distinct admissibility criteria to the different type of interventions as well as a more transparent procedure when accepting and denying interventions.

Dr Nicole Bürli has been a human rights adviser with the World Organisation Against Torture since 2014. Prior to this, she was a research associate at the University of Zurich (2008–2012) and a visiting fellow at the University of Copenhagen (2012) and the University of Cambridge (2013). Nicole Bürli holds law degrees from the University of Bern and the University of Zurich.'