CoE Secretary General calls for increased political will to implement ECHR judgments

CoE Secretary General calls for increased political will to implement ECHR judgments

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The Secretary General of the 46-nation Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, has urged member states to show increased political will to implement judgments from the European Court of Human Rights, and to improve their capacity for doing so.

“Complying with court rulings is essential to the rule of law. Over the years, our member states have made consistent progress in putting the European Court’s judgments into practice, but the Court is now dealing with more and more cases of increasing complexity,” said the Secretary General.

“Across Europe, the human rights convention has progressively changed people’s lives for the better. In order for this positive impact to continue, our member states must demonstrate the political will to implement judgments fully and consistently.”

According to the latest annual report from the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on the execution of ECHR judgments, 1,459 new cases were transferred by the European Court to the Committee of Ministers, which supervises their implementation by member states, in 2022. A total of 880 cases were closed during the year, including 200 ‘leading’ cases requiring specific and often wide-ranging measures by member states to prevent similar violations happening again. Some 6,112 cases had yet to be fully implemented by the end of 2022, including 1,299 leading cases.

The report shows that 2,352 (38%) of the cases pending at the end of last year concerned the Russian Federation, which was excluded from the Council of Europe on 16 March 2022 due to its aggression against Ukraine. Russia ceased being party to the European Convention on Human Rights six months later but remains obliged, under international law, to implement rulings from the European Court.

Russia’s war of aggression also affected Ukraine’s capacity to implement the Court’s judgments in 2022. Nevertheless, Ukraine made significant progress during the year, in addition to the ratification of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on violence against women, underlining its commitment to the ECHR system in extremely difficult circumstances.

The implementation of judgments from the European Court of Human Rights is expected to be an important theme of the Council of Europe Summit of Heads of State and Government, which will take place in Reykjavik on 16 and 17 May 2023.

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