The implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights
- Parliamentary Assembly
debate on 29 June 2017 (26th Sitting) (see Doc. 14340, report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human
Rights, rapporteur: Mr Pierre-Yves Le Borgn'). Text adopted by the Assembly on
29 June 2017 (26th Sitting).See also Recommendation 2110 (2017).
Since its Resolution 1226 (2000)
on the execution
of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, the Parliamentary
Assembly has been 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 authority of the human
rights protection system based on the European Convention on Human
Rights (ETS No. 5, “the Convention”) depend. Primary responsibility
for supervision of the implementation of Court judgments lies with the
Committee of Ministers, in accordance with Article 46.2 of the Convention.
However, the Assembly considers that it has a key role in this process,
as it can encourage proactive involvement from national parliaments.
3 Since last examining this question in 2015, it notes some
progress in the implementation of Court judgments, notably the reduction
in the number of judgments pending before the Committee of Ministers
and the increased number of cases closed by final resolutions, including
cases concerning structural problems such as excessive length of
judicial proceedings, poor conditions in detention facilities and
the lack of domestic remedies in this regard, non-enforcement of
domestic judicial decisions or the unlawfulness or excessive length of
detention on remand.
4 The Assembly welcomes the measures taken by the Committee
of Ministers to make its supervision of the implementation of Court
judgments more transparent, and the synergies that have been developed
within the Council of Europe to make this process more rapid and
5 However, the Assembly remains deeply concerned about the number
of judgments pending before the Committee of Ministers, even though
not all of these judgments are at the same stages of execution.
It notes that there are nearly 10 000 such cases, and that the number
of leading cases – revealing specific structural problems – awaiting
execution for more than five years has increased. Nearly half of
the cases under the “enhanced supervision” of the Committee of Ministers
relate to violations of Articles 2 (right to life), 3 (prohibition
of torture) and 5 (right to liberty and security) of the Convention.
The Assembly also notes that, even though considerable progress
has been made since its Resolutions 1787
, Italy, the Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine,
Romania, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Moldova and
Poland have the highest number of non-implemented judgments and still
face serious structural problems, some of which have not been resolved
for over ten years.
7 The Assembly further notes that some cases involving other
States Parties to the Convention also reveal “pockets of resistance”,
in particular concerning deeply ingrained political issues. The
difficulties in implementing these judgments relate to the adoption
not only of general measures (aimed at preventing fresh violations)
but also of individual measures (aimed at restitutio
in integrum for applicants) or payment of just satisfaction.
Moreover, the Assembly observes that in some States parties the
execution of the Court's judgments is surrounded by bitter political
debate as certain political leaders seek to discredit the Court
and undermine its authority.
8 The Assembly once again deplores the delays in implementing
the Court’s judgments, the lack of political will to implement judgments
on the part of certain States parties and all the attempts made
to undermine the Court’s authority and the Convention-based human
rights protection system. It reiterates that Article 46.1 of the
Convention sets out the legal obligation for the States parties
to implement the judgments of the Court and that this obligation
is binding on all branches of State authority.
Thus, the Assembly once again calls on the States parties
to fully and swiftly implement the judgments and the terms of friendly
settlements handed down by the Court and to co-operate, to that
end, with the Committee of Ministers, the Court and the Department
for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights,
as well as with other Council of Europe organs and bodies where
applicable. For this co-operation to be fruitful, the Assembly recommends
that the States parties, inter alia
9.1 submit action plans, action
reports and information on the payment of just satisfaction to the Committee
of Ministers in a timely manner;
9.2 pay particular attention to cases concerning structural
problems, especially those lasting over ten years, as well as all
9.3 provide sufficient resources to national stakeholders
responsible for implementing Court judgments and encourage them
to co-ordinate their work in this area;
9.4 provide more funding to Council of Europe projects that
could contribute to improved implementation of Court judgments;
9.5 raise public awareness of issues relating to the Convention;
9.6 condemn any kind of political statement aimed at discrediting
the Court’s authority;
9.7 strengthen the role of civil society and national human
rights institutions in the process of implementing the Court’s judgments.
Referring to its Resolution
, the Assembly calls on the national parliaments
of Council of Europe member States to:
10.1 establish parliamentary structures guaranteeing follow-up
to and monitoring of international obligations in the human rights
field, and in particular of the obligations stemming from the Convention;
10.2 devote parliamentary debates to the implementation of
the Court’s judgments;
10.3 question governments on progress in implementing Court
judgments and demand that they present annual reports on the subject;
10.4 encourage all political groups to concert their efforts
to ensure that the Court’s judgments are implemented.
11 The Assembly calls on the European Parliament to engage with
the Assembly on issues related to the implementation of the Court’s
12 In view of the urgent need to speed up implementation of the
Court’s judgments, the Assembly resolves to remain seized of this
matter and to continue to give it priority.