European Court Reform: National Implementation of the Interlaken Declaration

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The 47 members of the Council of Europe have pledged to improve their implementation of the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), something that would significantly reduce the case load that continues to weigh on the court.  

National governments have presented their assessments of their own progress in this area, but without any significant input from the civil society groups and human rights lawyers who have resorted to the court to address abuses of the European Convention on Human Rights.

This  paper  reflects  civil  society  perspectives  on  national implementation in seven countries in which the Open Society Justice Initiative works closely with local partners, and in which the lack of implementation in crucial areas severely and negatively affects the promotion and protection of human rights: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.  

The Open Society Justice Initiative will hold consultations around the bi-annual meeting of NGOs at the European Court of Human rights in November 2012 to discuss how to improve supervision of the enforcement of ECHR judgments.

After April's Brighton Conference on the future of the court, the Justice Initiative urged member states to pursue three principal objectives: implementing the European Convention at a national level, complying with judgments of the court, and providing adequate resources for previously agreed reforms.