The Parliamentary Assembly notes with satisfaction that the European Convention on Human Rights is part of the domestic legal order and is applicable in principle in all States Parties to the Convention. The practical implementation of this principle needs reinforcement and consolidation, so as to ensure the effectiveness of the Convention.
The proper implementation of the Convention at the national level includes the need to take into account the Strasbourg Court’s case-law, as stressed in numerous recommendations of the Committee of Ministers. Hence the need to step-up efforts to ensure the training of judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officials and lawyers.
The Court has recently proposed to develop its own training programme. This is not a matter that should, as such, be undertaken by a judicial organ, in particular one that is struggling to keep up with its heavy caseload. A court’s primary role is to adjudicate applications brought before it. Training should be undertaken primarily at the level of the Organisation’s intergovernmental sector in partnership, where appropriate, with others.
The existing training programmes of the Council of Europe are in need of an overhaul. Substantial efforts must be made to improve the manner in which this important work is undertaken. There is an urgent need to centralise and co-ordinate strategies for the Council of Europe’s various existing training programmes so as to permit member states to implement relevant Committee of Ministers recommendations to this effect. The Assembly therefore recommends to the Committee of Ministers that it undertakes a major stock-taking and overhaul of the manner in which the system presently operates, which may necessitate establishing a Council of Europe “Judicial Training School” or similar institution.