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Implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights

Doc. 13864: collection of written amendments | Doc. 13864 | 29/09/2015 | Final version

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ADraft Resolution

1The Parliamentary Assembly is duty-bound to contribute to the supervision of the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (“the Court”), on which the efficiency and the authority of the human rights protection system established by the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5, “the Convention”) depends. Whilst, according to Article 46.2 of the Convention, the primary responsibility for the supervision of the implementation of Court judgments lies with the Committee of Ministers, the Assembly can also play a key role in this process, in particular by encouraging national parliaments to adopt a proactive approach.
2The Assembly recalls its previous work on this subject, in particular its Resolution 1516 (2006) and Resolution 1787 (2011) and Recommendation 1764 (2006) and Recommendation 1955 (2011) on the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, its Resolution 1856 (2012) and Recommendation 1991 (2012) on guaranteeing the authority and effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights, its Resolution 1914 (2013) and Recommendation 2007 (2013) on ensuring the viability of the Strasbourg Court: structural deficiencies in States parties and Resolution 2055 (2015) and Recommendation 2070 (2015) on the effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights: the Brighton Declaration and beyond.
3It notes some progress in the implementation of Court judgments since the entry into force of Protocol No. 14 to the Convention (CETS No. 194) in June 2010 and the introduction, on 1 January 2011, of the new working methods of the Committee of Ministers. It welcomes the measures taken by the Committee of Ministers and other bodies of the Council of Europe to improve this process, as well as the increased interaction between the Committee of Ministers and the Court, in particular through the procedure of pilot or “quasi-pilot” judgments.
4However, the Assembly remains deeply concerned about the high number of non-implemented judgments pending before the Committee of Ministers, which remains stable at nearly 11 000 cases. Many of these cases concern structural problems in States parties, which continue to generate numerous similar applications to the Court (such as serious human rights violations committed by security forces, poor detention conditions, excessive length of judicial proceedings, non-enforcement of final domestic judicial decisions, disproportionate restrictions on property rights and unlawful detention on remand).
5The Assembly points out that, as underlined in Resolution 1787 (2011) and Resolution 1914 (2013), Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine have the highest number of non-implemented judgments and still face serious structural problems which have not been solved for more than five years.
6The Assembly also notes that, in a number of other States (including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Serbia and the United Kingdom), judgments revealing structural and other complex problems have not been implemented since the Assembly adopted its Resolution 1787 (2011) in January 2011.
7The Assembly deplores the delays in implementation and the lack of political will of certain States parties to implement judgments of the Court. It urges all States parties to observe the legal obligation stemming from Article 46.1 of the Convention and to fully and rapidly implement Court judgments.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 7, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly is also deeply concerned about the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation issued in the case of the implementation of the decisions by the European Court of Human Rights in the territory of the Russian Federation. The Assembly considers it a deliberate onslaught against the system of protection of human rights both in the Russian Federation and the entire continent, and calls on the Russian authorities to guarantee in practice the full implementation of all judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in respect of the Russian Federation."

8As underlined in the Brussels Declaration adopted on 27 March 2015 by the High-level Conference on “The Implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights, our shared responsibility”, the Assembly calls on States parties to fully implement recommendations included therein, and in particular to:
8.1submit action plans and action reports to the Committee of Ministers in a timely manner;
8.2create effective domestic remedies to address violations of the Convention;
8.3provide sufficient resources to national stakeholders responsible for implementing Court judgments;
8.4ensure a prompt response to judgments raising structural problems;
8.5take awareness-raising measures to promote Convention standards;
8.6hold parliamentary debates on the implementation of Court judgments.
9The Assembly calls on States parties to provide more funding to Council of Europe projects aimed at improving the implementation of judgments revealing structural problems, in particular through the Human Rights Trust Fund and/or voluntary contributions.
10The Assembly recalls its Resolution 1823 (2011) on national parliaments: guarantors of human rights in Europe and calls on States parties to implement the “Basic principles for parliamentary supervision of international human rights standards”, reproduced in the Appendix to the said resolution.
11The Assembly, mindful of the Brussels Declaration inviting it to produce further reports on this subject, resolves to remain seized of this matter and to continue to give it priority, in view of the urgent need to accelerate the implementation of the Court’s judgments.

BDraft Recommendation

1The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution … (2015) on the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, strongly urges the Committee of Ministers to use all available means to effectively fulfil its tasks related to the supervision of the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (“the Court”). It therefore calls on the Committee of Ministers to:
1.1take firmer measures in case of dilatory and/or continuous non-compliance with Court judgments, including those foreseen in Article 46, paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5);
1.2consider taking additional measures to improve the effectiveness of the supervision of the implementation of judgments;
1.3involve, to a greater extent, applicants, civil society, national human rights institutions and other international intergovernmental organisations in the process of the implementation of Court judgments;
1.4ensure greater transparency of this process.
2Furthermore, independently of the above proposals, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
2.1continue to implement the Brussels Declaration adopted on 27 March 2015 by the High-level Conference on “The Implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights, our shared responsibility”;
2.2monitor the implementation of its Decision of 19 May 2015 on “Securing the long-term effectiveness of the supervisory mechanism of the European Convention on Human Rights”;
2.3continue to apply its new working methods in order to accelerate the implementation of Court judgments and reduce its backlog of cases;
2.4enhance synergies, within the Council of Europe, between the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and all relevant stakeholders;
2.5increase the resources of the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights;
2.6continue to liaise, where appropriate, with the Assembly to ensure rapid and effective implementation of the judgments of the Court.