Monday, 12 August 2019

Book on Principled Resistance to ECtHR Judgments

A bit over two years ago, professor Marten Breuer of the University of Konstanz organised a great expert conference on the issue of states and their domestic courts resisting in various more or less principled ways the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. He has now published an edited volume on the topic with Springer, entitled Principled Resistance to ECtHR Judgments - A New Paradigm?. As with the conference, the great asset of the book is that it includes both a set of detailed country case studies, including on Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy among others, as well as more cross-cutting chapters on the notion of 'principled resistance', its sociological and institutional consequences, the role of the Venice Commission and the issue of national (legal) identity. Well worth a read not just for those interested in the broader backlash-against-international-courts literature, but also for those wanting to look beyond ideological and political debates and more interested in what domestic courts actually do, in detail. This is the summary:

'The book analyses the position of the ECtHR which has been more and more confronted with criticism coming from the national sphere, including the judiciary. This culminated in constitutional court judgments declaring a particular ECtHR judgment non-executable, for reasons of constitutional law. Existing scholarship does not differentiate enough between cases of mere political unwillingness to execute an ECtHR judgment and cases where execution is blocked for legal reasons (mainly of constitutional law nature). At the same time, the discussion under EU law on national/constitutional identity limiting the reach of the former has been only loosely linked with the ECHR context. This book presents a new dogmatic concept  - 'principled resistance' - to analyse such cases. Taking up examples from the national level, it strives to find out whether the legal reasoning behind 'principled resistance' shows enough commonalities in order to qualify such incidents as expression of a 'new paradigm'.'

Many congrats, Marten!

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