Tuesday, 26 April 2011

High Level Conference on the future of the European Court of Human Rights

Swissotel Grand Efes, Izmir
Joint Statement for the High Level Conference on the future of the European Court of Human Rights.

An international conference is being held over 26th and 27th April at Izmir, Turkey on the future of the European Court of Human Rights.  A joint statement has been issued by Amnesty International, the AIRE Centre, the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre, Interights, the International Commission of Jurists, JUSTICE, and Liberty.  The statement is aimed at trying to ensure that certain principles continue to apply.

The statement is well worth reading in full.  The U.K. is represented by Kenneth Clarke - see Ministry of Justice.  The draft of the conference programme was published by the Council of Europe on 19th April.

27th April:  The conference concluded with the IZMIR DECLARATION  - this builds on the Interlaken Declaration which came into effect on 1st June 2010.


  1. According to MoJ press release on MoJ website Kenneth Clarke is attending.

  2. FYI,

    Like Interlaken, these conferences are of a very limited compass, including states representatives (ambassadors or Ministers of Justice, typically), Council of Europe officials - usually the President of the Court - and one or two NGO types. None of the public common are admitted. Spontaneous, the proceedings are not. To give you a flavour of the sort of thing, the proceedings of the Interlaken Conference of 2010 have been published here (including, I believe, a list of those in attendance).

  3. Many thanks - I found the link and have been more than happy to amend the post.

    It is all very interesting given the government's various pronouncements about the European Court of Human Rights and certain of its judgments. Also, the Home Secretary's comments in the House of Commons about a recent decision of our own Supreme Court.

  4. It is shameful that Kenneth Clarke is not aware that the ECtHR has been undergoing reform since 2001. Also that he is only looking at reform of the Court itself and not the part that Member States must play in abiding by the Convention and Court decisions.

    The UK is responsible for a backlog of 3,500 cases of prisoners votes. Its a systemic violation. A structual problem in the separation of powers. No effective remedy.

  5. Ed (not Bystander)27 April 2011 at 02:07

    Got an axe to grind, jaily? On this topic, I mean. Not for your victims.

  6. Please avoid posts of a personal nature. Most people are aware of Mr Hirst's criminal record and his campaign to get the UK to actually abide by the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Hirst No.2. Mr Hirst has always commented in a sensible manner about the issues raised. Please let us all keep it that way.

    I will delete any future posts which I consider to be personal in nature. They are outside the spirit of this blog.

  7. From the Izmir Declaration, your wish it their command...

    "Consider that decisions of the panels of five judges to reject requests for referral of cases to the Grand Chamber are clearly reasoned, thereby avoiding repetitive requests and ensuring better understanding of Chamber judgments".

  8. @Jailhouselawyer - I am delighted to see this. The giving of reasons for decisions is, these days, a basic requirement since speculation is avoided.

  9. I am not as impressed with the Izmir Conference as I was with the Interlaken Conference. The programme for the latter contained the speeches to be delivered, whereas the former only provided the minimum details. Also the quality of Baroness Scotland's speech which was supportive of the whole process, whereas Kenneth Clarke's merely contained veiled threats to curb the jurisdiction of the Court.

    The Izir Declaration contained approximately 60 points, quite a few of them I could see as not putting the UK in a very good light. And yet, the Daily Telegraph only focused upon 1 point which it twisted around as though to give the UKSC supremacy over Strasbourg on cases of deportation.

    Today, the Independent has a story claiming that if Yes to AV succeeds the Backbench Business Committee will overturn the result like they did with Hirst v UK (No2)!

    It is disappointing that the media churns out such rubbish. And that Kenneth Clarke only appears to focus upon reform of the Court and misses the need to reform the UK to ensure human rights and effective remedies are available.