My Utrecht University colleague and SIM fellow professor Janneke Gerards has just published her newest book General Principles of the European Convention on Human Rights with Cambridge University Press. It is available online now as an e-book and presents a reflection of her many years of meticulous study of the case-law and work of the European Court. Setting it apart from most ECHR overviews, this concise yet very nuanced work does not present the Convention as a sequence of substantive rights. Rather, it takes a cross-cutting approach by describing and analysing how the Court interprets and applies rights. It thus goes into the core interpretative principles developed by the Court, ranging from how it assess restrictions on rights to famous notions such as positive and negative obligations and the margin of appreciation. Thus, it presents a very precise and well-grounded way into the ECHR, a great device both for teaching at the advanced level as well as for research. As one of the judges of the European Court remarked, Janneke Gerards is "one of the best Court-watchers of our time" - I could not agree more; I literally know no one outside the Court who is so well-informed about the by now massive volume of its jurisprudence. Recommended! This is the abstract:
'The European Convention on Human Rights is one of the world's most important and influential human rights documents. It owes its value mainly to the European Court of Human Rights, which applies the Convention rights in individual cases. This book offers a clear insight into the concepts and principles that are key to understanding the European Convention and the Court's case-law. It explains how the Court generally approaches the many cases brought before it and which tools help it to decide on these cases, illustrated by numerous examples taken from the Court's judgements. Core issues discussed are the types of Convention rights (such as absolute rights); the structure of the Court's Convention rights review; principles and methods of interpretation (such as common ground interpretation and the use of precedent); positive and negative obligations; vertical and horizontal effect; the margin of appreciation doctrine; and requirements for the restriction of Convention rights.'